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Hungary: Univer doubles its processing capacity

18/08/2017 - François-Xavier Branthôme - Lire en français
One of Central Europe’s largest tomato processing plants was built in Hungary

On 8 May, Hungary's leading tomato paste producer UNIVER Product Plc. announced its intention to double its annual raw tomato processing capacity to reach 140 000 tonnes. After completion of the total investment of EUR 13.9 million, one of Central Europe's largest and most modern tomato processing plants started operating at UNIVER's Kecskemét site from August 2017.

The new investment made by UNIVER Product Plc., a company established in 1948 and with 100% Hungarian ownership, not only increases its capacities, but also introduces significant technological innovations, as well as creates new jobs. The facility’s operations will be increased every year, with plans to reach a full capacity of 140 000 tonnes in the next few years. The equipment used at the new plant is built by the global leader of tomato processing lines, Catelli Food Technology (CFT), located in Parma, Italy. CFT’s Apollo pre-evaporator line uses the latest technology, so it is not only more energy efficient, but also produces better quality tomato paste as a finished product.

This investment fits into UNIVER Product’s traditions: the increased raw material demand is sourced exclusively from tomatoes grown in Hungary. Supplying quality Hungarian tomatoes is a priority task for the purchasing and production department. In order to support the performance of this task, the company has established a reference farm 20 km from the factory. The 187-hectare reference farm in Szentkirály was set up with the aim of creating a knowledge base where local agricultural communities are given support through research in tomato species and technologies, expert advice and production technology services (planting of seedlings, harvesting, etc.). This will allow the larger capacity needs of the expanded plant to be met with superb quality, locally grown raw materials.

The new investment doubles UNIVER Product’s capacity, producing competitive, high-quality tomato paste for export and also for the domestic market. An investment of EUR 11 million had already been made in 2014 to increase the processing capacity of the plant.

2017 processing has now started

Univer Product Plc. has begun the 2017 tomato processing season as the installation was completed right on time for the first deliveries of tomatoes arriving for processing.

Univer will be increasing the plant’s output continuously on a step by step basis from 80,000 tonnes this year to the 140,000 tonnes total capacity. 

Univer Product Plc can supply its partners with the highest possible quality tomato paste, including 28/30 Cold Break and Hot Break, as well as 36/38 Cold Break types.

In addition to increasing volumes, contracted farmers have also boosted their production capacities, and Univer is proud to say that it will continue to process exclusively Hungarian tomatoes at the plant.

(See also our articles in the March and September 2014 issues of Tomato News.)

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