Carbery Group's flavours unit Synergy yesterday unveiled its new plant in Bangkok which will form the basis for its expansion plans in Thailand and the wider southeast Asian region.
The facility is the latest in a series of investments that the dairy-processing, food ingredients, flavours and cheese manufacturer has made in Asia.
"This facility gives us much more flexibility in supporting our customers in Thailand and in neighbouring markets," said Dan MacSweeney, chief executive officer of Carbery, which is headquartered in Ballineen, Co Cork.
Thailand is the fifth-biggest exporter of food products in the world, but despite its role as a major food exporter, the Thai food and beverage industry imports over 80 per cent of its flavours.
For Synergy, locating its manufacturing facilities in Thailand represents an ideal opportunity to reduce lead times and better support local food and beverage producers, said Mr MacSweeney.
“Our market research suggested there is a significant market for flavours. Thailand is known as the kitchen of the world and there is highly qualified staff available.”
The group has long recognised that a strong physical presence in Asia is important in understanding the local customs and market needs of its customers in the region.
This was a factor when the company established its presence in the Asian market from scratch, with no pre-existing base of operations, said Mr MacSweeney.
The facility is in the Bang Phlee industrial zone in Samut Prakan, near the Thai capital's Suvarnabhumi international airport, and was officially opened by Ireland's Ambassador to Thailand, Declan Kelly. The plant is 2,000sq m and has 19 employees, rising to 21.
Earlier this month, Carbery reported an increase in profits of 22.4 per cent to €10.57 million, with turnover up 11 per cent at €285 million.
Mr MacSweeney said the facility would support the large and developing food and beverage industry in the region, by enabling Synergy Flavours to provide technical, manufacturing and warehousing support to its local and wider southeast Asian export customer base.
Carbery entered the Asian market in 2009, opening a technical centre in Thailand and working with local food manufacturers exporting to Europe.
Synergy’s flavours and ingredients are now sold to customers in countries throughout the continent.
These markets include Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan, China, Japan, and Vietnam.