On Wednesday 21 October, construction workers began construction of the new Upfield research centre on Wageningen campus. Upfield is the world's largest producer of plant-based consumer products.
Scientists working at the centre will study and develop both new plant foods and sustainable packaging materials. The building has been designed with a focus on sustainable energy consumption, efficient water usage, and limitation of consumer waste and emissions. In addition to laboratories, the research centre offers space for offices and an experience centre with a 'Green Hub restaurant'.
The new research centre is not coming to Wageningen without reason. The company predicts a fruitful collaboration with Wageningen University & Research and other nearby partners. The first pile of the building was driven into the ground by John Verbakel, head of research and development at Upfield, together with Harry Dijkstra, director of construction company Van Wijnen. The Wageningen mayor Geert van Rumund, and Rens Buchwaldt, board member of Wageningen University & Research, were virtually present because of COVID-19. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
Also read the interview with John Verbakel for more background information: Upfield looking forward to settling on Wageningen Campus: ‘A treasure cove of expertise.