Gemak have successfully designed, manufactured, installed and commissioned a state-of-the-art process and packing plant built specifically for the manufacture of plant-based yoghurts and other dairy alternatives. Working closely with their customer Meadow Foods over the last two years, Gemak were able to deliver the project on time despite the pandemic – exceeding all expectations. The plant was built to produce The Collective’s new range ‘Plant’, the UK’s first dairy free, Greek style yoghurt made from a unique blend of oats, coconut and rice.
Established in 1992, Meadow Foods, based in Marlston Cum Lache, is the UK’s leading supplier of dairy ingredients to the food and drink industry. The new facility comes on the back of a four million Pound investment, designed to produce high-quality plant-based ingredients in a dedicated, segregated facility that does not compromise on taste, texture or quality.
The Collective best known for their "thick 'n' creamy" gourmet yoghurts and renowned for innovation, have been driving the project and In January 2021 they successfully launched their first range of delicious tasting plant-based yoghurts.
Gemak was chosen as the process partner for the project and has successfully designed, delivered and executed the project on time and on budget despite the huge challenges faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to their team and Meadow Foods working tirelessly and in harmony.
This was made possible following a new 150,000 sq.ft. installation and assembly factory Gemak acquired at the end of 2019 on top their existing 200,000 sq.ft. manufacturing plant. Meadow Foods floor plan and Gemak process equipment and pipework installation was drawn in 3D and fully erected and installed within Gemak assembly plant, a first in the industry before it was dismantled and shipped. This allowed installation time of the plant to be reduced by a full 8 weeks.
This is a huge step going forward giving Gemak the unrivalled advantage of being a manufacturer that can do a full factory installation including electrical, ring mains, supports and utilities off site at their plant to minimise time on customer site and installation.
Paul Jackson, Strategic Projects Director of Meadow foods stated “We are excited to manufacture a range of new plant-based products that extend the strength and depth of our product portfolio. Gemak has been a crucial part of the project allowing us to finish the project on time and on budget by coming up with solutions to eliminate the disruption caused to all by the pandemic and lockdowns. We are very happy with the whole experience with Gemak and would happily work on future projects with them.”
Ciaran Adam, Product Manager, The Collective stated “After 2 years of tinkering, building and designing we are very proud to finally reveal the first plant based Greek style yogurt in the UK made from a blend of oats, coconut and rice in a fully segregated facilty. Grown from a love of dairy and made from plants. The products come in a PET tub made from 100% recycled plastic and are available nationwide at Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda. We have been in contact with Gemak for nearly 2 years and having seen their high quality work on other plants and because of their experience with yogurt processing, they were our preferred supplier. The team at Gemak have worked closely with us throughout the project and have been a great asset in delivering the project on time during unprecedented times.”
The plant based system includes a dry and wet automatic multi recipe blend, process and preparation unit, pasteurisation plant, storage and fermentation unit, an IBC filling station a Filltech double indexing, linear, layered yogurt pot filling line capable of filling 2 different diameter of pots with auto change over. The raw and pasteurised CIP sets were also supplied as part of the turnkey solution we provided.
The plant will be capable of producing plant-based yogurt, drinks, cream, sour cream, soft cheese, milk, custard and variety of other alternative products and ingredients.
Kursat Uysal, Gemak UK and Filltech stated “This is the first project where due to disruption caused by the pandemic and lock downs we had to change and adapt our approach to installation by utilising our new assembly plant to do a full factory installation including full pipe works with ring mains, electrical installation not just for each skid unit but as a whole process plant within our factory floor prior to numbering, dismantling and re assembling on customer's site. We would like to thank Meadow Foods and The Collective for their fast, flexible approach and their trust in Gemak to deliver the whole process and packaging plant.”