Gemak fulfills The Collective design

UK-based The Collective, best known for its gourmet yogurts, launched a range of plant based yogurts in January 2021. Equipment supplier Gemak designed, manufactured, installed and commissioned a process and packing plant built specifically for the manufacture of these products and other dairy alternatives.

Working closely with its customer Meadow Foods over the last two years, Gemak was able to deliver the project on time despite the pandemic. The plant was built to produce The Collective’s new range, ‘Plant’, a dairy free, Greek style yogurt made from a blend of oats, coconut and rice.

Established in 1992, Meadow Foods, based in Marlston Cum Lache, is a supplier of dairy ingredients to the food and drink industry. The new facility comes on the back of a £4 million investment, designed to produce plant-based ingredients in a dedicated, segregated facility.

This was made possible following a new 150,000 square-foot installation and assembly factory Gemak acquired at the end of 2019 on top of its existing 200,000 square-foot manufacturing plant. This allowed Gemak to install and run the full plant including all the pipe work, cabling at its new assembly factory before numbering it, dismantling and shipping. The Meadow floor plan and Gemak process equipment and pipework installation was drawn in 3D and replicated within the Gemak installation plant, a first in the industry. This allowed installation time of the plant to be reduced by eight weeks.

Ciaran Adam, product manager at The Collective, states: “After two years of tinkering, building and designing we are finally revealing the first plant based Greek style yogurt in the UK made from a blend of oats, coconut and rice in a fully segrated facility. The products come in a PET tub made from 100% recycled plastic and are available nationwide at Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda.

“We have been in contact with Gemak for nearly 2 years and having seen its work on other plants. Because of its experience with yogurt processing, it was our preferred supplier. The team at Gemak have worked closely with us throughout the project and have been a great asset in delivering the project on time during unprecedented times.”

The plant based system includes a dry and wet automatic multi recipe blend, process and preparation unit, pasteurisation plant, storage and fermentation unit, an IBC filling station a Filltech double indexing, linear, layered yogurt pot filling line capable of filling two different diameter of pots with auto change over. The raw and pasteurised CIP sets were also supplied as part of the turnkey solution we provided. The plant will be capable of producing plant-based yogurt, drinks, cream, sour cream, soft cheese, milk, custard and variety of other alternative products and ingredients.

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