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PepsiCo held a foundation laying ceremony on its largest and most sustainable foods manufacturing plant in Europe. The new, 1bn PLN project, the company’s fifth plant in the country, will be developed in stages with the full construction to be completed by 2025. The plant will provide the extra capacity to respond to the rapid growth in the company’s foods portfolio, which includes brands such as Lay’s fried and Oven Baked chips, as well as Doritos corn chips.

The new plant will produce both for the domestic market as well as export to over 20 countries, including Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. The factory will be equivalent to seven football pitches in size and will be built in a 30-hectare plot located in Swiete close to Sroda Slaska within the Legnica Special Economic Zone (Lower Silesia). The foundation stone laying ceremony was attended by representatives of the Polish government, including Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, US Consul General in Krakow, regional and local authorities, the Mayor of Środa Śląska, executives of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency and the Legnica Special Economic Zone.

 PepsiCo’s new facility in Poland will contribute to the ongoing and sustainable development of the Polish and European economies including bringing employment, developing local communities and significantly expanding PepsiCo’s sustainable farming program in Poland.

Silviu Popovici, Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo Europe commented: “We’ve been operating and investing in Poland for 30 years.  It is a great central hub as our food business grows in Central and Eastern Europe. But growth has to be sustainable. We want our plants to be the greenest, not only in Europe, but around the world. At Sroda Slaska we are re-imagining the future of food production.  We want to create a model facility for sustainability in Europe.”

The new state-of-the-art plant has been built with sustainability at its core and based on green design principles. All PepsiCo’s manufacturing in Poland already uses 100% renewable electricity, however this plant will go further.  Alongside low utility consumption, the facility will be fully self-sufficient generating energy via solar panels, with plans to introduce an onsite solar farm in the future.  Heating, cooling and water at the site will also be reused and rainwater will be collected for use on-site. Even the potato waste from manufacturing will play a key role. The leftover peelings will be used in a special biomass generator to help power the plant and then afterwards they will be converted into a low carbon fertilizer which will be provided to farmers to help grow the company’s next crop.

“We are proud that the new project will make use of the latest green technologies. We are already using 100% wind energy to power all four of the existing plants and the HQ in Warsaw, with additional solar panels placed in selected manufacturing plants, e.g. in Michrow and the central warehouse in Mszczonow. These innovations will make Sroda Slaska carbon neutral by 2035,” commented Michał Jaszczyk, CEO PepsiCo Poland.

As the company rapidly expands, PepsiCo will roll out a new direct and indirect hiring program in Poland. Currently PepsiCo employs 3,600 employees and supports 15, 000 jobs across the supply chain in Poland. In the coming years the new plant will employ over 450 qualified staff.

– I am happy to share today good news related to another US investment project supported by the Polish Investment and Trade Agency. This is PepsiCo’s biggest and most sustainable snack manufacturing facility in Europe. We are pleased to see the confidence the company’s management has in our organization as a result of its decision to select Poland as the location for their new project – commented Krzysztof Drynda, CEO of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PITA).  – This environmentally friendly investment is a reflection of PITA’s focus on the development of strategic industries and attracting innovative projects, which ensure that new jobs are created while contributing to the development of entire regions – added Krzysztof Drynda.

 The plot for the project development was chosen due to its convenient location close to major roads, access to a pool of highly qualified staff, as well as a customized assistance offer extended by the Legnica Special Economic Zone.

– Thanks to industrial projects such as PepsiCo’s latest investment, with enormous significance for our community, region and the entire country, we will be receiving another strong development incentive, this time centered around farming and food manufacturing. We are happy for PepsiCo’s strategic choice of Sroda Slaska, and strongly believe that our collaboration will be mutually beneficial – said Adam Ruciński, Mayor of Środa Śląska. – It will ensure good and stable employment for hundreds of people from the vicinity of Sroda Slaska or even the Wroclaw metropolitan area and will also provide the farmers from our sub-region with the opportunities to deliver high quality produce and fair incomes – said Adam Ruciński, Mayor of Środa Śląska.

The crops for the new manufacturing plant will be supplied by Polish farmers working in close collaboration with PepsiCo under the Polish Sustainable Farming Program. The Program was initiated 28 years ago, and currently PepsiCo sources over 230,000 tons of sustainably grown potatoes each year. This volume is expected to grow by 60,000 tons per year by 2023. In addition, the company will initiate new relationships for corn supplies, seeking to source up to 30,000 tons of corn for the manufacture of Doritos chips by 2027. With the new facility now in construction, PepsiCo will significantly expand the Polish Farming Program to cover 7,500 ha and over 100 farms in the coming years.

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