Spotlight GEA Group: Processing Half of All Beer on Earth – Knowledge Leaders Capital


GEA is one of the largest global suppliers of food processing technology, building the machinery, plants, processes and systems that help producers deliver food to people. GEA aims to be the partner-of-choice in each industry it serves, including food, beverage, chemical, pharma, dairy and marine. In fact, GEA plays a part in producing every third chicken nugget, one quarter of the processed milk, and every other liter of beer in the world. Half of all container ships in the ocean sail with GEA marine equipment on board.

GEA DairyRobot, credit: GEA

An engineering company at heart, GEA organizes its divisions by technologies. For example, the Separation & Flow Division is concerned with pumps and valves, and the Liquid and Power division is concerned with beverage and filling technologies. The Food and Healthcare technologies team works to keep food and medicines safe during milling, slicing, packaging and freezing. The Farm division is advancing processes in milking, feeding and barn environments. Last, Refrigeration is concerned with developing sustainable cooling and heating for large industrial installations.

Fermentation tanks, credit: GEA

Headquartered in Dusseldorf, Germany, the firm was founded in 1881 as a metals trading company. Innovation is a long-standing value for GEA, which innovates in cooperation with its customers in response to ever-evolving needs. R&D efforts are aimed at future trends, with current priorities including sustainability, digitization and “new foods” like plant-based meat and dairy alternatives. New food trends–such as the growing demand for high-quality, protein-rich foods–drive research. For example, because meat production makes extreme demands on water, air, and the biodiversity of land, GEA’s innovation teams are at work developing new solutions to conserve resources, enable ethical production, and produce new plant-based alternative foods. One current project has GEA working with New Zealand’s sheep milk industry, which has seen a 50 percent increase in production the last two years due to sheep milk’s unique beneficial nutritional profile compared to cow’s milk, to engineer safe, animal friendly and sustainable long-term practices. Thanks to GEA’s sustainability efforts, about two million tons of pollutants are not released from food plants into the global environment each year.

As of 6/30/21, GEA Group was held in the Knowledge Leaders Strategy.

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