Commodities trader Cargill has opened a new European protein innovation hub in Saint-Cyr en Val facility in France as part of a €50-million investment in the site.
The innovation hub, featuring a customer experience area, a state-of-the-art test kitchen and a unique pilot plant, will enable customers to co-create protein rich menu strategies, the company noted.
This facility in France has produced chicken specialities for French and European food service outlets for 30 years.
Karel Zimmermann, managing director of Cargill Protein Europe commented, "Cargill’s Protein Innovation Hub is the perfect home for unsurpassed protein experiences where inspiration, co-creation and innovation meet to transform ideas into an exciting reality.
"Our customers can explore the entire world of protein under one roof - from consumer and marketing insights to sensory profiling and product concepts. It is our first Protein Innovation Hub in Europe and part of our continued investment in protein as an essential component of the food chain."
Protein Innovation Hub
The concept begins with product co-creation, where customers create or re-create samples of finished products developed by chefs who serve Cargill customers around Europe.
The Cargill team will then rapidly prototype new products in small batches for more efficiency and speed to market on a dedicated small-scale pilot line, while undertaking further analytical and sensory testing.
Finished products will be presented in the customer experience centre, which boasts a restaurant space and hosts chef demonstrations, workshops, and trainings to enhance co-development and customer experience.
Investment In French Site
The company expects to increase output capacity at the facility by 10% through this expansion programme.
The Saint-Cyr en Val plant is celebrating 30 years in operation and has established itself as one of the major partners of the French poultry supply chain.
Cargill has built a strong relationship with a consortium of 200 poultry farms in Britanny, leveraging a collaboration model based on three-year rolling contracts that enable farmers to improve their business model and long-term outlook.
Jonathan Laroye, director of Cargill’s Saint-Cyr en Val plant added, "We are proud to have been an active part of the local community for 30 years, during which time our site has serviced over 2,000 restaurants across France and 10 countries across Europe.
"This major investment will see our facilities upgraded to new-generation technology and contribute to sustainable development in the food industry, all while injecting a much-needed investment into the local economy."