LW/M, Belaya Dacha to Build French Fry Plant in Russia

Lamb Weston/Meijer (LW/M) and Belaya Dacha announced plans on June 27 to invest over EUR 100 million to build the first frozen french fry factory in Russia. Situated about 450 kilometers south of Moscow within the special economic zone of Lipetsk, the facility will have enough capacity to produce 90,000 tons per year. It will be supplied with potatoes from Balaya Dacha’s own farm operations in the Tambov region, supplemented with input from a dedicated network of local growers.

Bas Alblas, chief executive officer of Kruiningen, Holland-headquartered Lamb Weston/Meijer, and Victor Semenov, chairman of the supervisory board of the Moscow, Russia-based Belaya Dacha Group, signed the joint venture agreement.

“Our new joint venture will provide us with a unique opportunity to expand our position in the Russian market, while supporting our international key clients in optimizing their own value chain, growing their businesses in the region and meeting local needs,” said CEO Alblas.

Chairman Semenov, who is also co-owner of Belaya Dacha and served as the Russian Federation’s minister of agriculture from 1998-99, commented: “Both companies benefit from each other’s unique knowledge, skills and expertise. We can take advantage of Lamb Weston/Meijer’s in-depth experience in potato growing and high quality french fry production, while leveraging our experience in the Russian quick service restaurant and retail markets, and our own construction division.”

The project will be financed with equity and long-term funding from Sberbank, one of the largest financial institutions in Russia. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer, and the factory is slated to be operational by early 2018.

Belaya Dacha will be the majority shareholder in the joint venture, which is subject to approval by the Russian Federal Anti Monopoly Service (FAS).

About Belaya Dacha

Balaya Dacha logoThe Belaya Dacha holding company combines a variety of businesses specializing in growing and processing vegetables, planting trees, garden and landscape design, and real estate development. Packing the leading brand of fresh-cut salads at two production facilities in the Moscow region and in the Republic of Tatarstan, the company is a major supplier of salads and other vegetable produce to the McDonald’s Restaurant chain in Russia.

With a history of more than 95 years in the agricultural industry and being a major landowner in the Moscow region, Belaya Dacha began to focus on real estate development in 2003. Starting with the construction of Class A warehouses, Belaya Dacha’s portfolio of completed projects today boasts over 1 million square meters of space and includes 150,000 square meters of logistics properties, Mega Belaya Dacha, Outlet Village Belaya Dacha, residential and mix use development projects.

About Lamb Weston/Meijer

lamb weston full color logoIn business since 1994, LW/M currently operates five value-added potato processing facilities – three in the Netherlands, and one each in the United Kingdom and Austria – with combined capacity of 650,000 tons per annum. The company, a joint venture business of Omaha Nebraska, USA-headquartered ConAgra Foods Lamb Weston and Meijer Frozen Food, employs more than 1,300 people and exports finished products to numerous countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and beyond.