The Hungarian government and Coca-Cola HBC Hungary have signed a new strategic partnership agreement

Coca-Cola HBC Hungary and the Hungarian government have renewed their 2012 collaboration agreement and took it to a new level. According to the Strategic Partnership Agreement signed today by Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and László Békefi, General Manager of Coca-Cola HBC Hungary, the company intends to build the Coca-Cola System’s largest Central European production hub in the coming years. As a first step, the company is going to install logistics robots in its Dunaharaszti site this year.

After signing the agreement, Péter Szijjártó said that those companies who have previously signed a strategic partnership agreement with the Hungarian government provided a significant help in protecting Hungarian jobs in 2020. He talked about how strategic partnerships and alliances with large companies have been the basis of the Hungarian economic strategy since 2010. These companies create new jobs and bring new investments to Hungary.  For example, Coca-Cola HBC Hungary indirectly provides a livelihood for 13,000 Hungarians through its total supply chain. The Minister added that these multinational corporations enable Hungarian SMEs to join the world economic cycle through supplier programs, in order to jointly contribute to the growth of Hungarian export, due to which, despite the crisis, the export performance of Hungarian beverage production could increase by 22% in 2020.

We were the first to launch a strategic partnership program with the government in 2012, and today we are also the first to renew our partnership agreement. With the new agreement signed today, we would like to make a step forward to establish the largest Central European production hub of the Coca-Cola System in Hungary. Since 2012 our company has invested HUF 30 billion in the country.

László Békefi General Manager at Coca-Cola HBC Hungary

The freshly signed agreement also provides a long-term framework for collaboration in new areas including a government working group which will be set up to build the food industry of the future and to address public health challenges. Moreover, the common goal is to promote the use of packaging made from recycled materials, which could transform domestic mineral water and soft drink production into a zero-waste industry.

In addition, Coca-Cola HBC Hungary will contribute to the digitization of the Hungarian FMCG sector in the coming years, with developments for the Industry 4.0 era. This year, Hungary will become the first within the Coca-Cola HBC Group to introduce robot technology to support warehouse sorting and picking processes of products waiting to be shipped. The groundbreaking technology will be implemented in a ​​1,000 m² area isolated from workers, where products will be moved by automated vehicles. The company is planning to spend 1 billion forints on the implementation of robot technology and the renewal of its corporate governance system in 2021.

Hungary's largest beverage company was one of the firsts in the FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) sector worldwide to introduce Smart Glasses technology in 2018, which increases efficiency in production and storage.

From the first strategic agreement to robotics

Since the signing of the first strategic agreement, Coca-Cola HBC Hungary has spent nearly 30 billion forints on domestic investments: the company launched one of the country's largest-capacity soft drink production lines, started its mineral water exports, introduced a new and innovative product under the name GLACEAU smartwater, and built Hungary's largest FMCG warehouse.

As a total beverage company, it offers beverages to the consumers at all consumption occasions throughout the day. The portfolio is one of the strongest, broadest in the beverage industry, including more than 100 different products, 90% of which are produced in Hungary. In 2019, 79% of total payments to suppliers went to local business partners. Relying on these domestic suppliers, the company now exports its products to 26 countries, making it one of the largest companies in the Hungarian FMCG sector.

The company is also a partner in solving public health challenges: together with the members of the Hungarian Mineral Water, Fruit Juice and Soft Drink Association, it has voluntarily pledged to reduce the sugar and calorie content of soft drinks sold in Hungary by 50 percent between 2010 and 2020.

Coca-Cola HBC Hungary supports the reduction of packaging waste in various ways and aims to recycle whenever it is possible. Due to the company’s innovation activities over the past years, all of the company’s beverage packaging is 100 percent recyclable; the amount of plastic needed to make PET bottles was also reduced by 20 percent.