November 16, 2020


Emmi invests US$55 million in production site in Emmen, Switzerland



Swiss milk processor Emmi is strengthening its presence in Switzerland and investing CHF50 million (US$55 million) in its traditional location in Emmen.


A new wing will replace a more than 40-year-old cheese dairy building, providing space for highly professional and resource-saving cheese production and creating additional capacities in line with the company's long-term growth plans. Construction work is scheduled to begin soon, with commissioning planned for the end of 2022.


In 1927, the predecessor organisation of today's Central Switzerland Milk Producers Cooperative (ZMP) and Emmi's current majority shareholder purchased the Neuhüsern Sbrinz cheese dairy in the Lucerne suburb of Emmen. This was converted into a pilot plant for soft and semi-soft cheese in 1945. Two years later, the first products were launched there under the Emmi brand.


"Emmen and Central Switzerland are where Emmi was born, and Swiss cheese is one of the key pillars of our growth strategy. A large, modern, resource-conserving cheese dairy with short transport routes to our milk suppliers is the perfect complement to our speciality cheeses from commercial cheese dairies," said Emmi's deputy CEO.


The building housing the existing cheese dairy in Emmen had started to show itself in great need of investment in recent years. On the one hand, the building, which was constructed in 1976, would require extensive renovations. On the other hand, the cheese dairy facility has reached the end of its life cycle.


Additionally, their available capacity would likely no longer be able to cope with expanding growth from 2023 onwards. In the last ten years, the milk processed into cheese at the Emmen site has doubled and demand is expected to continue to rise in the years ahead, especially for the popular Luzerner Rahmkäse from Emmen.


According to Emmi, a comparison clearly showed that the total investment of around CHF50 million in a new building was worthwhile as there are numerous advantages including: 


- A newly constructed building with new facilities enables the optimal flow of production, storage and distribution;


- The new cheese dairy can support Emmi's long-term growth plans;


- Cheese production is becoming more resource-conserving (especially lower water and energy consumption);


- The quality of the workplace can be significantly improved (especially with regard to ergonomics and lighting conditions);

- A new production building can be constructed in accordance with the latest quality and safety management standards, paving the way for more efficient processes;


- The existing cheese dairy can continue to operate during the construction work.


Emmi received approval for its construction project on November 11 after the required environmental impact study for the full site was presented to the relevant commission of the municipality of Emmen.


Work on the building is expected to continue until the end of 2021. Commissioning will start at the end of 2022.


 - Emmi