The dairy group Sodiaal (Candia, Yoplait) will close two factories

The Sodiaal group will cut its workforce somewhat. The French milk giant said in a press release relayed on Tuesday February 1 that it wishes to close two of its factories, out of its 70 production sites: the Campbon dairy, in Loire-Atlantique, and the Saint- Martin-Belle-Roche, in Saône-et-Loire, dedicated to infant ingredients. These closures would involve the elimination of 316 positions. The cooperative group collects 20% of French milk and employs 10,000 employees, but faces large losses in the liquid milk and infant milk powder markets.

It also plans to stop the drying activities of the Malestroit site (Morbihan), one of the two drying towers of Bénestroff (Moselle), as well as the activities for the children’s market in Montauban-de-Bretagne (Ille- et-Vilaine).In total, “this project would result in the elimination of 316 permanent positions”, most of them on sites slated for closure. The group justifies these closures by a “continuous decline in sales” and “overcapacity” on UHT milk and infant dairy ingredients, in particular demineralized whey powders. The latter are particularly affected by the fall in Chinese demand.

Sodiaal “undertakes to offer each of the employees concerned at least one job internally in the group, and if necessary to support them in an external search”. At the same time, the cooperative group (4.8 billion euros in turnover in 2020) plans to invest 600 million euros between 2022 and 2027 to “accelerate its conquest of valued markets”: “cheese, premium milk , butter, cream” but also yogurts since the takeover of Yoplait, as well as more high-end dairy ingredients.

In a press release, the CFDT Agri-Agro “conceives that there are difficulties in certain companies of the Sodiaal group”, but “deplores that the general management makes the choice to close industrial tools with dramatic consequences for the employees who, for some will lose their jobs. The union adds that “its elected officials will fight so that the employees affected (…) can leave with compensation and retraining courses worthy of a group like Sodiaal”. The FGTA-FO union says for its part that it “will negotiate fiercely to defend as many jobs as possible and find solutions to limit the number of layoffs”.

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