Bonduelle looking to close plant in France

Bonduelle looking to close plant in France

Bonduelle has set out plans to shut at a canned vegetables plant in France as the company adapts to what it called a "price war" in the European market.

The company has put forward a proposal to shut down production at a site in Russy Bémont in northern France. Its canning activities would be concentrated at three other facilities in Estrées Mons, Vaulx Vraucourt and Renescure.

Bonduelle said a "steady decline" in Europe's canned vegetables market had led to over-capacity, sparking a price war, especially among private-label suppliers. 

The Russy Bémont plant manufactures summer vegetables sold under private labels and to "low-cost retailers", Bonduelle said.

The three other sites have equipment used for branded lines using what Bonduelle called "vapour technology" and are able to handle a wider range of summer and winter vegetables to "meet all the needs of the private-label market", it explained. 

Production at the Russy Bémont would be closed down at the end of June, while logistics activities would continue until the end of September. Some 62 staff would be affected, although Bonduelle said employees could be found jobs at the three other sites. Bonduelle has presented the plans to its central works council.