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Unilever intends to build a foods innovation centre in Wageningen

London/Rotterdam, 6 October 2016 – Today Unilever has announced its intention to build a new global Foods Innovation Centre in Wageningen, the Netherlands. The Foods R&D organizations, currently based in Vlaardingen (the Netherlands), Heilbronn (Germany) and Poznan (Poland) will be co-located in the new centre.

Today’s announcement means that Unilever will move all roles in R&D Foods that are currently based in Vlaardingen, Heilbronn and Poznan, to the new global Foods Innovation Centre in Wageningen. The new centre, which will house approximately 550 roles, is expected to be fully operational by April 2019.

By co-locating R&D resources of our categories (Home Care, Personal Care, Foods & Refreshment) into our key R&D locations, Unilever will create critical mass in expertise areas to ensure that the technologies ultimately bring benefit-led, breakthrough innovations to the markets. In addition, we aim to evolve our R&D sites into innovation ecosystems to leverage the knowledge and expertise of external partners.

Jan Zijderveld, President Unilever Europe: "The Agri-Food Innovation climate in The Netherlands is very strong. The co-location of all elements of our Foods R&D organization within the Foods Innovation ecosystem in Wageningen will enable Unilever to strengthen its ability to develop cutting edge Foods innovations in close collaboration with the Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and a broad variety of other science institutes and startups”.

Amanda Sourry, President Unilever Foods: “The Foods Innovation ecosystem in Wageningen will bring together a strong combination of in-house R&D and external science and technology, talent and facilities, increasing the impact of Unilever’s own resources and capabilities, and ultimately creating the innovative power that we need to provide leadership in Foods”.

The R&D Home Care, Personal Care and Refreshment organisations that are currently based in Vlaardingen will move to the Innovation ecosystems in Port Sunlight (Home & Personal Care) and to Colworth Science Park (Refreshment). These moves and the move of the Foods R&D organisation from Vlaardingen to Wageningen lead to the fact that the Vlaardingen site will close over time.

Unilever will now start the consultation process. The building of the Foods Innovation Centre in Wageningen will only commence following the completion of this process. We expect the total project to be finalised by the second quarter of 2019.

Media Enquiries

Unilever Media Relations Rotterdam, +31102174844, mediarelations.rotterdam@Unilever.com

About Unilever

Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of Food, Home Care, Personal Care and Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries and reaching 2 billion consumers a day. It has 169,000 employees and generated sales of €53.3 billion in 2015. Over half (58%) of the company’s footprint is in developing and emerging markets. Unilever has more than 400 brands found in homes around the world, including Persil, Dove, Knorr, Domestos, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Wall’s, PG Tips, Ben & Jerry’s, Marmite, Magnum and Lynx.

Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan commits to:

  • Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.
  • Halving the environmental impact of our products by 2030.
  • Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.

Unilever was ranked number one in its sector in the 2016 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In the FTSE4Good Index, it achieved the highest environmental score of 5. It led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the 2016 GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey for the sixth year running. Unilever was ranked the most sustainable food and beverage company in Oxfam’s Behind the Brands Scorecard in 2016 for the second year.

For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com. For more information on the USLP: www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/

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