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Danone is poised to establish a new international R&D centre for baby and medical nutrition in The Netherlands, according to Nutraingredients.com.

The company recently signed an agreement to purchase land on Utrecht Science Park.

Since entering the market with the acquisition of Numico in 2007, Danone has seen turnover from its baby nutrition and medical nutrition activities grow. In 2009 they accounted for 20% and 6% of the group’s almost €15 billion (NZD$27.7 billion) turnover, growing 8% and 11% on the previous year, the report said.

The global food firm’s plan to build a new centre as a base for international research and innovation is billed as the next step in its evolving specialised nutrition strategy. R&D in this area is currently split between locations in The Netherlands, Germany and the UK, but when the new centre is complete in 2012 at least 400 employees will transfer there.

At the time of its Numico acquisition Danone said its focus would remain on dairy, but that nutrition would become the business’ new ‘third pillar’, alongside beverages. The brands that came along with the purchase include brand names Nutricia, Milupa, Cow & Gate and Dumex.

Prior to buying Numico Danone sold its biscuit business to Kraft for €5.3 billion. This manoeuvre is a further indication of its commitment to a healthy future. – Source: NutraIngredients.com

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