A new investment project by Mondelēz International will see €3.5 million put into its production facility in Kaunas, Lithuania. The funding will be used to acquire unique new technologies that will enable new chocolate production methods. As a result of this upgrade, Mondelez Lietuva Production, the company’s Lithuania branch, intends to add 27 new employees to the team of 412 currently working in Kaunas. Most of these will be highly-skilled graduates who will work as line operators and production process specialists.
Mondelez Lietuva’s goal is to be the preferred partner for managing complex technologies within the Mondelēz integrated supply chain. The Kaunas unit, which is run by Mondelez Lietuva Production, has become a key European supply chain hub for the global snacks manufacturer. This is largely due to the high qualifications held by the specialists employed there. They are renowned throughout the Mondelez Group for their flexibility, reliability and creativity. The Kaunas unit’s productivity has also been boosted by a number of innovations its staff has implemented. It is already recognized as a reliable and flexible unit in this field, producing approximately 20,000 tons of chocolate products every year. More than 95% of the facility’s produce goes abroad, with the United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Poland, France and Belgium making up its largest export markets.
Producing the best chocolate in France
Quality is a key element of the unit’s success, a fact recognized by clients in numerous markets. For example, the Nougat Côte d’Or chocolate bar that was developed and produced in Kaunas was recognised as the best chocolate bar in France in 2012 by an independent consumers association.
According to Raimondas Bakšys, Managing Director of Mondelez Lietuva Production, Mondelēz International has chosen Kaunas for this latest investment because of the company‘s focus on skilled staff. The facility is highly valued for the inventiveness and productivity of its employees. “Being located in Kaunas allows us to benefit from the educational institutions – with their experience in training technicians and engineers – that the city has to offer. Mondelez Lietuva has cooperated with Kaunas Technology University, Kaunas University of Applied Sciences, Kaunas University of Applied Engineering Sciences, and the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences for many years, and we see even more possibilities for collaboration in the future. What is more, we feel there is strong support for business innovation from the state”, noted Mr Bakšys.
Mondelez Lietuva Production regularly renews its facilities, with total investment in the unit exceeding €40 million since 1995, when the plant was acquired by the international food company.
For Minister of Economy of The Republic of Lithuania Evaldas Gustas, Mondelez Lietuva Production is an example of a socially responsible business, which acknowledges Lithuania’s potential and is keen to grow within the country. “The Ministry of Economy strongly supports foreign investors that are not only focused on results and product quality, but also demonstrate social responsibility like Mondelēz International.”
The most efficient production unit
Mondelēz International is focused on constantly improving its performance. It uses both the Lean Manufacturing system, for improved efficiency, and the Six Sigma company activity program. This focus on efficiency and innovation is clearly paying off, with the facility receiving numerous awards in fields as diverse as the beauty of its environment, its energy saving capabilities, the creation of new products, the implementation of investment projects, technical innovations, safety programs, and the reliability of its laboratory quality checks. In the unit, the highest quality management standards are applied: ISO 9001 Quality system, ISO 22000 food safety management system, ISO 18001 occupational health and safety, and ISO 14000 Environment.
Most recently, the firm has been awarded for its productivity and for its attractiveness as an employer. In January 2015, Dana Peters, Mondelez Integrated Supply Chain Vice-President for Europe, commended the team for achieving the world class efficiency level of 85% on one of its manufacturing lines. Mondelez Lietuva Production was the first unit to achieve such a level in any of Mondelez’s European plants. It also came 2nd in Lithuania’s national “TOP employer 2014” awards (industrial category).
According to Mantas Katinas, General Manager of Invest Lithuania, the company‘s success in Kaunas highlights the value Lithuania‘s second largest city has to offer to investors, and also shows the outstanding results companies can achieve by tapping into this potential. „Mondelez Lietuva Production is one of the most desirable employers in Lithuania, as well as the most efficient production unit in Mondelēz International. I trust that this expansion in Kaunas will strengthen the unit with new technologies and help to expand its production capabilities even more.”
About Mondelēz International
Mondelēz International, Inc. is one of the world’s largest snack producing companies. In 2013, global net revenues amounted to $35 billion, with the company employing 100,000 people in 165 countries around the world. The company has leading market shares in every category in which it competes. These include biscuits, chocolate, confectionary, energy drinks and chewing gum. Its biggest global chocolate brands are Cadbury, Cadbury Dairy Milk and Milka, and in biscuits it owns LU, Nabisco and Oreo. Other major brands owned by the company include Tang powdered beverages and Trident gum.
Mondelēz International‘s Well-Being programs focus on:
Mondelēz International, Inc. creates many innovative products. Its Research, Development and Quality (RD&Q) team reports to the company’s Chief Growth Officer. The company accelerates growth and increases margins through its global innovation platforms, power brands and breakthrough technologies. 2,750 scientists, chemists and engineers were working in RD&Q in 2013. In the same year, the team achieved a 13% innovation rate (in other words, the percentage of net revenues from new products over the past three years), a figure that is world class for the confectionary industry. 11 key RD&Q centres exist worldwide.
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