Zyrcular Foods, the Barcelona-based alternative protein producer and distributor, has revealed that its new 1,500 square metre facility has begun manufacturing plant-based protein. Located in the town of Seva, the green energy powered factory will be able to produce up to 1 million kilograms of alternative protein for brands, retailers and foodservice businesses annually at full capacity, and aims to be the international launchpad for startups across Europe.
Zyrcular Foods has announced that it is set to begin producing alternative proteins in its factory in Seva, in the Osona region of Barcelona province, in mid-March. The renewable energy-powered factory, boasting 1,500 square metres, cost €3.5 million (approx. US$4.2 million) to build, and at full capacity will be able to produce for third parties, grocery chains, foodservice companies and manufacturers up to 1 million kilograms of plant-based protein a year. It stands as Spain’s first facility exclusively dedicated to alternative protein production.
Among some of the companies that Zyrcular Foods supplies includes retail giant Aldi, and Spanish chains La Sirena and Sánchez-Romero, as well as foodservice businesses Áreas, Pad Thai Wok and Fosters Hollywood.
This is a significant milestone for innovation in the food industry in Spain.Santiago Aliaga, CEO, Zyrcular Foods
It also distributes a number of the leading plant-based products in the international market, including Beyond Meat, Gardein, NEXT, Sophie’s Kitchen and Green Vie, but the real emphasis of Zyrcular Foods is on the supply side.
Santiago Aliaga, CEO of the firm, says that they have “gone from being a distributor of big international plant protein brands to producing them under contract. This is a significant milestone for innovation in the food industry in Spain”.
Its Barcelona-based factory will be open to startups and food techs from Spain and elsewhere to manufacture their plant-based protein products in Europe, a move aimed at making the base a launchpad for European brands to export across the Mediterranean and neighbouring countries, shortening the transport required.
The factory itself, running on 100% renewable on-site solar energy and energy supplied by Pyrenees-based operator Peusa, will also help brands to lower the carbon footprint of their products even more than their initial reduced impact on the environment, given that eliminating animal agriculture already saves a huge portion of greenhouse emissions.
We will encourage growers to shift to new legume crops and help to counteract rural depopulation through a value-added project.Santiago Aliaga, CEO, Zyrcular Foods
As European consumers continue to shift towards alternative proteins more than ever before, with projections that the region’s plant-based meat and dairy industry will reach market value of US$8.9 billion within just four years, Zyrcular Foods has set its sights on upping its capacity to meet rising demand.
The company says that it has already “acquired adjacent plots with a view to expanding production plant protein and other alternative protein foods,” putting the timeline for its ambitions in the “medium to long-term”.
Zyrcular Foods is also ambitious on promoting Europe’s local agriculture, as the bloc strives to shift towards sustainable food production in its Farm to Fork strategy under its new Green Deal, which aims to slash 60% of carbon emissions by 2030.
“Our dream must be to produce using locally grown plant raw material: that would enable us to bring our CO2 footprint down as low as possible,” said Aliaga. “We will encourage growers to shift to new legume crops and help to counteract rural depopulation through a value-added project.”
Lead image courtesy of Zyrcular Foods.