Candia, a subsidiary of French milk co-operative Sodiaal, plans to close three of its eight milk packing plants.

Candia said it will enter into consultation with employees, having submitted the proposal to staff representatives. The move will impact 313 workers at its facilities in Lude, Saint-Yorre and Villefranche-sur-Saone, who will be offered alternative employment at other sites.

Candia said it aims to make the company's milk production "sustainable" by consolidating its manufacturing base. "Every year sees [Candia's] competitiveness deteriorate in the face European competition," the company warned.

The reorganisation is expected to come into effect in 2014.