In a move that brings it closer to a key customer, Graham Packaging has opened a new bottle-making plant in Zoetemeer, the Netherlands, on site with Royal Numico.
As part of its global strategy, Graham Packaging has been forging on-site manufacturing arrangements with customers in all of its business units. About one-third of its 88 manufacturing facilities are at on-site locations.
"This arrangement fosters close, long-term working relationships, just-in-time inventory management, streamlined process management, and reduced logistics costs," stated Geoffrey Lu, vice president and general manager of Paris-based Graham Packaging Europe.
The packaging facility will make HDPE multilayer plastic bottles exclusively for Numico's infant milk and clinical nutritional products aimed at the European market.
"We are helping Numico make the conversion from brick packs to more consumer-friendly plastic bottles," stated Lu. "From our perspective, the partnership with Numico enhances our position in a strategically important market-the dairy market."
Luc Volatier, Numico's vice president for purchasing worldwide, said the partnership gives it access to Graham Packaging's blow-molding expertise. Numico can focus on the formulation, production, and marketing of its infant milk and clinical nutrition products.
The bottle-making facility is located within Numico's existing plant, next to its filling lines. At present, Graham Packaging has 20 employees working there.
Graham Packaging had sales for the last 12 months of $2.4 billion.
In January this year Royal Numico announced that it has successfully completed the acquisition of EAC Nutrition, a leading Asian baby food company. EAC Nutrition provides Numico with leading market positions through the highly recognised Dumex brand in the fast growing Asian infant nutrition market, most notably in China, Malaysia and Thailand, the company stated.
Royal Numico is baby food and clinical nutrition units produces products under the brand names Nutricia, Milupa, Cow & Gate and Dumex, among others.