100 shipping containers in India become mini tempeh factories
Dutch vegan meat company Schouten Europe recently launched Tempeh Today in Bangalore, India. The company produces tempeh on site in small, high-tech shipping containers. Tempeh Today plans to set up at least 100 shipping container factories across India over the next five years to help reduce the country’s protein deficit. “It is cheaper to have decentralized tempeh production in India than it is to produce it in a large factory,” said Henk Schouten, CEO of Schouten Europe. “This also simplifies the local procurement of raw materials from smallholders.”
The tempeh factories will draw power from solar panels, and 60 percent of the tempeh produced will be frozen and transported to a central location for storage and packaging for the local retail and food service industries. The remaining 40 percent will be used for meals for school children. While the local employees are responsible for the operational side of the production business, the factories are also monitored by Schouten Europe from the Netherlands to ensure standardized production, consistent quality and food safety.
Tempeh Today will employ 800 local workers with fair wages, and 2,000 local soybean farmers will supply soybeans to the Tempeh factories. Tempeh Today hopes to eventually produce a total of 10,000 tons of tempeh per year.