Modernised factory leads to expanded product range, more production capacity and more jobs

A family-owned and managed company that produces a wide range of sauce and cream-based products for Finnish households has substantially increased its annual turnover following the modernisation of its headquarters and factory in south-east Finland.

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Part of the range of culinary products produced by Kaslink Foods Oy. Part of the range of culinary products produced by Kaslink Foods Oy.

The ERDF-aided investment has allowed an old factory building close to the town of Kouvola, 134 km north-east of the Finnish capital of Helsinki, to be substantially modernised. Around one quarter of the investment was spent on rebuilding the factory building, which involved demolishing walls and renovating the fabric of the building. The other three-quarters of the investment cash was spent on installing new state-of-the-art machinery and equipment in the factory.

Helping a major player in the Finnish food industry to expand

Established in 2002, Kaslink Foods Oy specialises in the contract production of sterilised milk and cream products as well as culinary sauces and concentrated sauce bases. The company, which currently enjoys a 15 % share of the Finnish cream-based products market, produces almost all the products sold in Finland under the Pirkka, Rainbow and Eldorado brands.

Kaslink Foods Oy director Matti Kukkonen said that the investment in modernising the factory had created ten new jobs at the factory since rebuilding work was completed towards the end of 2010. Mr Kukkonen added that in 2011, and in spite of the global economic downturn, company turnover increased 70 % compared with 2010. The company is optimistic about the future, is not expecting any slowdown in growth in the coming years and expects to continue to hire more staff in the coming years.

Steady growth is company policy

The investment in the factory is the seventh in the company’s history. Previous investment projects were slightly smaller, and funding aid generally amounted to between 15 % and 20 %.

Steady growth has been a feature of Kaslink Foods Oy’s development. The company has, on average, recruited four new employees per year since Kaslink’s creation in 2002. In total, 65 jobs were created at Kaslink Foods Oy during the first ten years of the company’s existence.

Total and EU funding

The “Kaslink Foods Oy, Increase in sauce and UHT production capacity” project had a total budget of EUR 1 000 000 of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 80 000 through the 'Southern Finland' Operational Programme for the programming period 2007-2013. The Finnish state contributed EUR 120 000 towards funding for the project and Kasklink Foods Oy itself contributed the remaining 80 % (EUR 800 000).

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