PARIS ­­— Swiss fragrance and flavors suppler Firmenich has opened a biotechnology and naturals pilot plant and laboratory in Geneva.

“Benefiting from the latest digital technology, the facility opens a new era for the development of ingredients and clean-label solutions by providing faster speed-to-market and greater flexibility for customer collaboration,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

The announcement of the plant comes as there’s a steep rise in demand for natural and clean beauty products around the globe.

The unit, in an upcycled building, is integrated into the group’s ingredients production site located in La Plaine, outside of Geneva.

Firmenich called the plant “a cornerstone for new ingredients for both perfumery and flavors, enabling the development of the most efficient and high-quality production processes through biotechnology or natural extraction. Harnessing digital technology for increased animation, the pilot plant is able to move from single to continuous batch process, increasing efficiency, speed and reducing the use of raw materials.

“Our new plant provides greater flexibility to respond to customer needs in product development,” said Sarah Reisinger, senior vice president research operations at Firmenich. “Capable of handling multiple projects simultaneously, it also enables small-scale production of trial batches for formulation or testing and regulatory validation.”

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Firmenich — with sales of 3.9 billion Swiss francs, or $4.24 billion — is the largest privately owned perfume and flavors company. It was founded in Geneva in 1895.

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