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This summer, leading branded soft drinks business Britvic is celebrating the 35th anniversary of its Rugby factory, thanking colleagues for their dedicated service and showcasing the investment and innovation that has become synonymous with the company’s flagship facility.

Based on Glebe Farm Industrial Estate, the site has seen over £125 million of investment since 2018, with the factory most recently benefitting from a £27 million investment in a new state-of-the-art canning line in September 2021.

This is Rugby’s fourth canning line, growing the site’s total capacity by around 20% and creating 20 new jobs at the facility.

Boasting some of the fastest lines in Europe, the site’s new canning line operates at a rate of around 120,000 cans per hour, taking the factory’s total production to an impressive rate of just under half a million cans per hour.

Rugby MP Mark Pawsey said: “Britvic’s 35 years in Rugby represent a great success both for the company and for our town’s local economy.

“Over those years, their flagship factory has grown and created hundreds of jobs, including a vibrant apprenticeships programme which has given many young people a first taste of work.

“I was delighted to see the further investment in their fourth canning line which demonstrates their commitment to the Rugby site for many years to come.”

The investment provided Britvic with the additional capacity to drive agility and exemplary customer service, as well as boost production of some of the country’s most loved brands, including Tango, 7UP and Pepsi MAX.

Importantly, investment has seen the work force increase at the site, helping to bring the total number of employees to more than 340 and reinforcing Britvic’s commitment to the local community.

These roles span numerous disciplines, from engineering to manufacturing, with apprenticeships also a key component of the additional rise in employee numbers.
Paramjeet Pahdi, Director of Operations at Rugby, said: “As we celebrate 35 years of our Rugby site, I’m proud to look back at the journey we’ve been on together to make this facility the beacon of success it is today.

“I would like to thank all our colleagues for their contribution over the decades, without their hard work and dedication I have no doubt that we would not be here celebrating such a milestone.

“Looking to the future, Britvic is focused on ensuring that Rugby continues its success story as we develop the site with further investment, securing our future for generations to come.”

Over the past 35 years, Rugby has become well known for showcasing some of the fastest and best manufacturing technology in Europe.

The Rugby factory has also played a key role in Britvic’s sustainability efforts.
Continuous improvements have seen the factory cut the amount of water it uses – most recently by using the cooling water from its combined heat and powerplant as a source of hot water for the site – helping Britvic work towards its net zero carbon emissions target.

Celebrations for the 35 year anniversary began in May with a family fun day attracting more than 500 people to the site.

Employees and their families enjoyed the day with a resident DJ, fairground rides, a penalty shoot out, mini golf and a Britvic bar.

Swiss-Ghanaian start-up Koa secures USD10 million growth capital to accelerate its disruptive up-cycling business around the cocoa fruit. The investments will allow Koa to scale its production capabilities tenfold and thereby allowing the company to cooperate with an additional 10,000 cocoa smallholders in Ghana.

Koa is taking the next step to scale its impact in the cocoa sector. Today, the Swiss-Ghanaian start-up announces the completion of its Series A equity round as well as the closing of additional senior and junior ranking debt for a total of USD 10 million of financing from both institutional and private investors. “We are excited that we won strong and reputable partners for the further growth of our business. It shows that our way of responsibly doing business and our value proposition are meeting the pulse of the time. With these investments, we will be setting up Africa’s largest cocoa pulp processing plant in West Africa which is the world’s largest cocoa growing region,” Benjamin Kuschnik, Co-Founder and Group Finance Director of Koa, says.

Founded in 2017, Koa is disrupting the cocoa industry through its innovative upcycling of the cocoa fruit. Koa is the first company in West Africa to have unlocked a new value chain around the so far discarded cocoa pulp. Working closely with cocoa smallholders, Koa reduces on-farm food waste around the cocoa fruit, generates additional farmer income while at the same time bringing unique new ingredients to the food and beverage industry for applications ranging from chocolate, confectionery, ice cream to drinks.

Bringing together private and institutional investors into an impactful venture

To finance its next expansion plans, Koa has successfully completed its Series A round raising a total of USD 4.7 million in equity. The investment round was led by Haltra Group, a Luxembourg-based family investment company which is joined by a group of other like-minded family offices all sharing Koa’s conviction to establish a business that creates real impact while being profitable and sustainable on the Triple Bottom Line “People, Planet and Profit”.

“As a family investment group focused on managing assets and having a positive impact, we promote the emergence of disruptive and sustainable economic models for future generations. We are delighted to participate in this exciting venture at the edge of Circular Economy and Food Transition, two of our core investment themes, and to contribute to impacting the local communities in Ghana,” Matthieu Baumgartner, Co-Founder of Haltra, says.

The equity round is complemented by a USD 3.5 million long-term debt facility from impact funds and USD 2.0 million of shareholder loans. The long-term debt facility is coled by the IDH Farmfit Fund and the Landscape Resilience Fund coming together in a unique partnership for this investment with the aim of improving smallholders’ incomes and their transition to climate resilient agriculture.

“Koa’s innovation makes it possible for farmers to increase their living income significantly by selling their waste product, without having to make additional investment costs at their farms,” Barbara Visser, COO of the IDH Farmfit Fund, says. “Koa furthermore aims to create gender equal employment opportunities in rural communities and targets to reach 40 % women farmers, which are in line with core objectives of the IDH Farmfit Fund. We are very pleased that today’s investment will support Koa in responsible value creation in the cocoa supply chain. These kind of disruptive and innovative solutions are key to catalyse the system change that is needed to improve the lives of these cocoa farmers.”

Looking at strengthening cocoa farmers’ climate resilience, Urs Dieterich, Managing Director of the Landscape Resilience Fund, emphasises that “increasing investment in adaptation will save and improve many lives in the communities hardest hit by climate change. That’s what today’s investment is all about – supporting an inspiring, socially and environmentally grounded business to reach greater heights and have even more climate impact.”

Increasing the production capacity tenfold to meet customer demand

Koa is investing the funds from the debt financing into a new production plant in Akim Achiase, in the Eastern Region of Ghana. This will be Koa’s second factory which is already in construction and is planned to start its operations by the end of 2022. “As the food industry is discovering the cocoa fruit, we need to grow in line with the demand from our customers. Once fully operational, the new factory will increase our production capacity by tenfold, while generating 250 new jobs in rural Ghana and allowing us to extend our cocoa fruit upcycling to an additional 10,000 cocoa farmers,” Daniel Otu, Production & Operations Director at Koa, explains.

As part of its commitment to the continuous improvement of its supply chain, Britvic is proud to announce a £26.9 million investment into the future of its factory in Rugby (UK), Britvic’s largest production site. The investment will see the installation of a fourth canning line, growing the site’s total capacity by a further 18 %. As a result, Britvic expects to create at least 20 new jobs at the facility.

The efficient new set-up will produce recyclable 330 ml cans for Britvic’s portfolio of leading brands including Tango, Pepsi and 7UP. The first cans are expected to be produced this November, with the new line fully up and running in 2022.

The new jobs will be predominantly in engineering and manufacturing, helping to build upon Britvic’s role as a leading employer within the community. Apprentices will also play a vital role during the expansion, filling some of the engineering roles and assisting with improvement projects as production commences.

Today’s news is further evidence of Britvic’s continued investment in its supply chain and follows the completion of the transformative £250m Business Capability Programme, improving facilities for the benefit of colleagues and customers.

Alfa Laval has signed a partner agreement with Wayout International, a Swedish innovation company, to develop micro-factories for local and sustainable production of water and other beverages. The micro-factories will use Alfa Laval technology and be built at the company’s site in Copenhagen, Denmark. The agreement covers the production of up to 100 micro-factories, and the partnership starts in 2022.

Today more than 2 billion people lack access to clean drinking water. Wayout’s micro-factories can treat all types of water and remineralize it to produce high quality drinking water. The fully automated plug-and-play system is powered by solar panels. Producing water locally addresses the challenges of bottling, logistics, and distribution, and reduces the generation of plastic waste.

The partner agreement includes the production of two different micro-factory concepts: one for drinking water and another for brewed beverages.

“This partnership combines Alfa Laval’s technological expertise with Wayout’s innovative processes to accelerate sustainable solutions,” says Nish Patel, President of the Food & Water Division. “It addresses a globally important issue – access to safe drinking water – and we are very pleased our technology is part of the solution.”

Did you know … One micro-factory can produce 70,000 litres of drinking water each month, preventing up to 200,000 plastic bottles and 8 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the eco system.

About Wayout
Wayout was founded in Stockholm in 2018 by a group of entrepreneurs within process engineering, IT/IoT, and tech innovation. Their micro-factories are offered to organizations and entrepreneurs that see the opportunities in locally producing beverages with a minimal eco-footprint.