CSM Ingredients recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of its historic production facility in Crema, Italy. The location not only serves as the group’s Italian corporate headquarters, but also as a production site for margarine, vegetable creams and frozen bakery products for worldwide distribution. On the occasion, a new production line for margarine was also inaugurated, bringing the site’s production capacity to over 70,000 tons per year.
Aldo Uva, CSM Ingredients’ CEO, states, "It gives me great satisfaction to celebrate the first 100 years of one of the most important factories in our group, a Made in Italy best practice. The plant has a central role in satisfying the demand of global markets since it develops 55% percent of our product offering in the categories it operates in. This milestone for Crema is particularly significant for us, not only because it is a great recognition of what has been achieved so far thanks to the continuous commitment of the workers and the connection with the local community, but also because it represents a new, exciting milestone for our Group.“ He adds, “We are also proud to inaugurate a new production line dedicated to margarine, a key ingredient that is highly appreciated by the food industry for its performance and greater sustainability compared to animal-derived alternatives. At CSM Ingredients, our goal is to invest in technologies and products to continue having significant economic and social impact in the regions where we operate and, above all, to chart a more sustainable and positive path for the future of the entire food sector."
Founded in 1923 as a margarine and oil factory, the Crema plant now covers a total area of 32,600 sq. meters and is organized in three production departments. Its products are both directed to the artisanal channel, especially bakers and pastry chefs.
The NDC (Non-Dairy Creams) department produces up to 16,000 tons of creams annually with 27 different recipes (sweet and non-sweet, ready-to-whip and more), tailored to various market needs and distributed in multiple formats. The Fats & Oils division, which is the core of the factory's activities, is dedicated to the production of margarines and blends, created using recipes and different combinations suitable for individual customer needs and customizable. Raw material storage in this department is ensured by 29 tanks maintained in a controlled atmosphere, allowing the management of 40 types of oils with a capacity of up to 1,300 tons. The third production department is dedicated to frozen bakery products made from puff pastry, such as croissants, savory snacks and mini pizzas.
In addition to the production area, the site houses a Product Development Center dedicated to research and the development of new recipes and products, as well as an Application Center where the company conducts product tests, training initiatives, presentations and webinars. In total, 187 people are employed at the Crema site, 64% of whom reside within 7 km of the headquarters.
The new production line together with the existing ones will allow not only to reach a production capacity of 70,000 tons annually but also to meet market and individual customer needs by developing various formats, from 500-g blocks to 20-kg blocks, and various variants. Export of the facility’s products include the United Arab Emirates, China and a range of African nations. For CSM Ingredients, the fats & oils category has seen an increase of almost 10% over the same period of last year, with continued growth projections expected.
Another key pillar and founding asset in the development strategy of the company is sustainability. Many of the factory's products are made from plant-based ingredients. Specifically, margarine is produced using oils obtained from the simple pressing of seeds and fruits, with the addition of other ingredients. In addition to providing processing performance, margarine is also more sustainable than animal-based alternatives such as butter, with a carbon footprint three times lower and requiring 50% less land for production.