Dutch multinational dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina has opened a distribution centre in Meppel in the Netherlands to store and transfer dairy products for markets such as China, Hong Kong, Russia and Greece.

With a surface area of 31,000m², the facility can accommodate 43,000 pallets and covers an area approximate to five football pitches.

The centre has been opened to replace the other Dutch distribution facilities located at Hoogeveen, Heerenveen and Veendam. Work on the centre began in 2017.

Meppel was chosen as the distribution location as dairy products can be transported to the Rotterdam port by water, thereby simplifying the chain. Over 9,000 export containers and 8,000 truckloads will annually be handled.

The location is also easily accessible by road and provides good connections with the rest of the world.

“Meppel is a favourable, central location and easily accessible both by road and by water.”

Apart from annual efficiency savings, a reduction of 1.5 million transport kilometres will be achieved, which is equivalent to a 650,000kg reduction of CO2 emissions.

The centre was opened by FrieslandCampina Ingredients president Kathy Fortmann.

Fortmann said: “The distribution centre means a lot to FrieslandCampina and the neighbourhood. Meppel is a favourable, central location and easily accessible both by road and by water.

“The sustainable construction and more efficient transport makes a considerable contribution to the reduction of the CO2 emission.”

FrieslandCampina stated that it deploys external parties for the distribution and leases the distribution centre.

The latest move comes after a series of acquisitions in December 2018. These included its plans to buy Best Cheese Corporation USA and the acquisition of Millán Vicente and Jana Foods.

In November, it was reported that FrieslandCampina was exploring possibilities to close its mozzarella production facility in Bree, Belgium.