The Switzerland-based processing company said the “technology driven partnership” would see it create new solutions for producing roasted and ground coffee. The deal will see the partners focus their joint R&D resources on the “development of novel, environmentally friendly coffee roasting systems”, said Buhler.
Sustainability is a major issue throughout the firm’s operations – including industrial coffee processing, coffee segment head for the new venture Stefan Schenker told FoodProductionDaily.com.
“For coffee production, sustainability aspects are in particular product quality, food safety and of course energy efficiency,” he added.
New R&D projects have been set in motion to address such issues with market launches expected in the next few months, Schenker confirmed.
The coffee segment chief said its decision to buy into Petroncino was an extension of the partnership it had formed with the Italian firm since the beginning of 2009 on sales co-operation and joint R&D activities. No financial details, or the size of Buhler’s stake in the Italian outfit, were disclosed.
The deal will see Buhler act as a project management partner along the entire process chain – from handling, cleaning, and storage of the green coffee to roasting, blending, and grinding of the roasted coffee and packaging of the finished ground coffee – with the roasting process step will be exclusively supplied by Petroncini.
“The advantage is that customers have only one contact partner – Buhler – starting from first layouts and final customised solutions till the final commissioning and hand over of the processing line,” said Schenker.
Buhler said it will also act as global distributor for Petroncini’s processing equipment and that the move will allow it to consolidate its presence in the coffee sector.
“Since Buhler is already market leader in roasting products such as cocoa beans or nuts, this venture brings the expertise of coffee roasting closer to [the company],” said Schenker. “Further through the Buhler distribution channel Buhler has a strong global market presence and will be able to fully commercialise joint R&D activities which address customer needs throughout the whole process chain.”