the blender series, part 3: a license to operate

the blender series, part 3: a license to operate

In the final blog in a three-part series we are taking a closer look at Integrated Food Projects’ involvement in the delivery of innocent’s new factory, the blender. Here Andrew Lyons, factory designer, explains how the design of the factory and the technology which has been implemented, will futureproof the blender for decades to come – from both an operational and a sustainability perspective.

Throughout the evaluation, design and build of the blender, Integrated Food Projects and innocent have had a clear focus on sustainability. Careful planning and the integration of the latest technology and thinking has delivered on the goal of being the Earth’s most sustainable healthy drinks factory, but it’s important to remember that this is a factory that needs to remain sustainable for decades to come.

As the world becomes more aware of what is required by governments, society and private businesses in order to meet the challenges of global warming, it is inevitable that sustainability standards will evolve. What is deemed progressive today, will look very different in ten years’ time.

A sustainable drinks factory that requires major and regular reconstruction in order to meet and exceed new sustainability standards is by its nature, not sustainable. We were focused on designing a factory that would be prepared for new technology and be built in a modular fashion so that any upgrades and changes can be made with minimal disruption, cost or wastage.

The central objective for the blender was to be a carbon neutral, 100% electric factory and this core value was at the heart of every decision that was made in the evaluation, design and build processes.

From reducing water usage through FluiVac product purging and line cleaning technology, to revolutionary heat pumps that create a thermically balanced system to reduce energy consumption, the Integrated Food Projects team was able to integrate a huge range of innovative technology to reduce energy consumption – allowing for the energy needs of the factory to be met by onsite, renewable sources.

You can read in more detail how this was achieved in the second part in this blog series, where Hayley Cormick talks through the sustainability credentials of the blender.

It’s not only advancements in technology that IFP has factored into the blender’s design, the future demands from governments and society on the food and drink sector have also been assessed, as they will evolve to put a greater emphasis on sustainability.

By reducing the carbon requirements of the factory to zero, the blender will be shielded from any carbon taxes that may be introduced in the future. Governments and the public are increasingly becoming aware of their impact on the environment, and as action is taken to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, any new taxes or regulations on the food and drink manufacturing sector will require swift, and potentially expensive action from many businesses, running more traditional factories.

Consumer behaviour is also changing, and people are starting to demand more transparency from the companies that manufacture and sell the products they buy. Members of the public want more control over their own carbon footprint, and as attitudes amongst shoppers change, it’s likely that people will be more inclined to buy products that are manufactured in more sustainable ways. Operating sustainable factories and being able to communicate this clearly and effectively to consumers will not be a ‘nice to have’ or just marketing activity in the future, it will become a license to operate in the sector.

It was also critical to future-proof the blender from an operational perspective. The process lines and blending area needed an element of agility and flexibility within the design, so that if production levels need to be increased or new product lines are introduced, it can cope. The design is modular in nature and the space and infrastructure has been allowed for within the design – to handle growth over the coming decade.

What has been achieved with the blender is truly astonishing, we hope that in this three-part series of blogs you have been able to see a glimpse of the partnership between Integrated Food Projects and innocent over the last few years – covering evaluation, sustainability and of course, futureproofing. It’s a factory that not only delivers some of the highest sustainability standards in the food and drink manufacturing sector, it’s a factory that has been designed and built for the future.

To find out more, contact the team at Integrated Food Projects here.


Integrated Food Projects have partnered with Kettleby Foods on a number of high-profile multi-million pound capital projects since 2003/4, helping the business to develop and grow. Throughout that time they have provided cost-effective and efficient solutions on development projects both at our existing ready meals production facility and also in creating a new satellite facility. The projects at our existing facility were managed without impact on our ability to service our own clients, and all projects have been delivered within budget, in a timely fashion and to the requisite standards of safety and quality. Their team work ethos and professional approach ensure successful projects and I would utilise Integrated Food Projects in the future without hesitation.

- Jarrod Thorndyke, Production Director

I have worked with Integrated Food Projects on many capital expenditure projects since 2004, the latest being the development of the new plot of land adjacent to our main site. They successfully employed a project delivery process to ensure the integration of a leased modular building solution with the development of the site infrastructure to improve logistics and Health and Safety. Their staff are always positive and enthusiastic and have fostered a team-work approach ensuring another successful project delivered. I look forward to working with them again in the near future.

- Engineering Manager, Major UK Ready Meals Manufacturer