Blog: Hannah AbdullaThe food industry's supposed winter-efficiency drive

Hannah Abdulla | 21 September 2015

Is there a link between the weather cooling and the food industry belt-tightening? It appears autumn is the prime season for food manufacturers to get their firms operating at maximum efficiencies, with news of job-cuts is on the up.

Today (21 September) New Zealand dairy giant, Fonterra, announced it was adding a further 227 job cuts to the 523 cuts announced in July, in a bid to lower costs to remain competitive in an environment of low global dairy prices.

Hours later, Finnish poultry processor, Atria said it would cut 35 jobs in Sweden as part of a cost-cutting drive, a move expected to to generate annual cost savings of approximately EUR1.8m (US$2m), which will materialise in 2016.

Coincidence perhaps. But news of job-cuts seems to grow in the run-up to Christmas. Last September, Grupo Bimbo announced it was axing 84 jobs, followed by French meat processor, Terrena with 165 job cuts and Fazer with 49 job cuts un October. In November Arla cut 100 jobs in the UK with Perfetti Van Melle and Coca Cola Amatil following suit in December with 49 and 260 jobs respectively.

There's no hard evidence to suggest there is a link between the time of year and an increased level of layoffs. But if last year's pattern is anything to go by, the food industry could be set to see more job-cuts between now and December.

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