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Mondelez to shut down French biscuit factory

Mondelez to shut down French biscuit factory Mondelez International Food and Beverage Business

Mondelez International is set to close a biscuit plant in France by the end of 2025 as the snacks giant aims to “safeguard its competitiveness”. The Château-Thierry site in Aisne, northern France, will phase out production over the next two years because it is “very old and would require substantial investment over the next few years to modernize its infrastructure and equipment”. In a statement, Mondelez said it will eliminate 61 positions by mid-2026. The company also mentioned that the Château-Thierry site has no capacity for new production lines and its current production rate is lagging behind its other sites.

To transfer production over, the group will invest €10m ($10.8m) in a new production line and a new packaging line at its La Haye-Fouassière site in Loire-Atlantique in western France, which will create 27 new jobs. Additionally, production of the Figolu biscuit brand – which is currently carried out by an external partner in the UK – will also be relocated to La Haye-Fouassière. According to Roberto Gambaccini, industrial director for Mondelez’s France business, “This project confirms that France is a strategic country for the group, despite the difficulties we are facing.”

The company stated that it will maintain the same overall volume of production in France despite the closure of the Château-Thierry site. “I’m well aware of how difficult this project is for the employees at Château-Thierry. Management has proposed to the social partners that they conclude a method agreement, which would define the means and framework of the information-consultation procedure in order to guarantee open, transparent and respectful social dialogue.”

In 2023, Mondelez’s sales in Europe grew 14.5% to $12.86bn on an organic basis. Volume/mix inched up 0.7 percentage points. The group revenue also rose by 14.7% to $36.02bn, with a 1.3 percentage points growth in volume/mix.

The closure at Château-Thierry will have a significant impact on employees. However, it is a strategic move that aligns with the company’s commitment to improvement and competitiveness. By investing in La Haye-Fouassière and relocating production, Mondelez aims to maintain its overall volume of production in France. The decision is part of the company’s strategy to optimize its operations and ensure sustainable growth in the food and beverage industry.

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