Friday, June 14, 2024

HelloFresh opens its largest European distribution centre

Recipe box company HelloFresh has opened its latest flagship automated production facility in Derby. The site, named ‘The Windmill’, was opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony by UK CEO Adam Park and Pauline Latham OBE MP for Mid Derbyshire.

The new site has created around 300 jobs for the local community to-date with more expected in the coming months as it ramps up production. The automated production lines will allow HelloFresh and Green Chef customers even more choice and ability to personalise their meals.

In keeping with HelloFresh’s commitment to a more sustainable future, The Windmill has been developed in partnership with SmartParc SEGRO Derby, a low-carbon food manufacturing campus in Spondon, Derby, to be one of the most sustainable production facilities in the country.

Features include a rainwater harvesting system, a 22 MVA rooftop solar panel array, and a shared heating and cooling system which recycles heat from refrigeration plants and reuses it to heat water and offices across the estate.

The site achieved an ‘Excellent’ BREEAM rating for its energy efficiency and will derive 100% of its energy from renewable sources. It will also have EV charging spaces, local bus services that are aligned with production times and provide secure bike storage (alongside a cycle-to-work scheme) to further reduce local emissions while supporting its employees.

The expansion of production capability provided by The Windmill supports HelloFresh Group’s ambitions for long-term growth and will act as a launch pad for future growth and innovation for its brands in the UK.

The automation technology will allow for handling of greater product complexity to give customers more recipes to choose from as well as options to further personalise their meals, including options to replace meat for plant-based alternatives or customise portion sizes.

The site will also use best-in-class predictive algorithms and technology to improve inventory management processes, reduce waste, and ultimately deliver ingredients that are fresher than ever.

The Windmill has created around 300 jobs for the local community so far – including production operatives, maintenance engineers, and management roles – with more to come as production ramps up in the coming months.

The Windmill will also boost HelloFresh’s support for local charities like Community Action Derby. Today, HelloFresh donates ingredients for more than 100 meals each week to assist those experiencing food insecurity in the local area.

HelloFresh UK CEO, Adam Park, said: “We are delighted to open our largest and most advanced European distribution centre – The Windmill – here in Derby.

“We have invested for over two years to build our latest automated production technology in Derby, particularly due to its incredibly diverse and skilled talent pool. This site and its cutting-edge technology will allow handling of great complexity in our production to give customers even more choice, while creating hundreds of jobs and opportunities for talented people in the local area to build skills and careers in a growing space.

“Derby’s great connectivity also means we can provide an even better delivery experience for our UK customers with eighty per cent of customers now being within a four-hour drive of where the product is made.

“All-in-all, we are delighted to be in Derby and look forward to contributing to this great community as we partner on an exciting journey of growth and innovation we have planned for HelloFresh and Green Chef in the UK.”

Also present at the opening ceremony were Cllr Baggy Shanker, Paul Simpson, CEO Derby City Council, Jackie Wild, Founder and CEO of SmartParc, Andrew Pilsworth, Chief Of Staff at SEGRO, and Jane Byam Shaw OBE, Co-Founder of the Felix Project.

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