Austrian fruit processor Agrana has announced 66 jobs are to go at its fruit preparation facility in Krollendorf as it restructures operations.

The firm said the Krollendorf plant "had been operating at below capacity". Agrana is shifting operations to a larger fruit preparations facility in Gleisdorf.

"This move by Agrana is necessary in order to counter the overcapacity which has arisen in the European fruit preparations market in recent years as a result of which there has been pressure on the margins of all fruit preparations producers," the firm said.

The relocation is expected to be complete by the end of the financial year 2014/15.

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In response to the continuingly weak development of the market for fruit yoghurts in Europe, AGRANA is now optimising the organisational structure of its fruit preparations division in Austria. At its meeting today, the Supervisory Board of AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG resolved to in future operate the AGRANA site in Gleisdorf (Styria) as its sole Austrian production facility for fruit preparations. The fruit preparations plant in Kröllendorf (Lower Austria), which had been operating at below capacity, will be relocated to the larger fruit preparations facility in Gleisdorf. The intention is to complete the relocation process by the end of the financial year 2014|15. 

This move by AGRANA is necessary in order to counter the overcapacity which has arisen in the European fruit preparations market in recent years as a result of which there has been pressure on the margins of all fruit preparations producers.

The aim is to offer some of the 66 personnel employed in the fruit preparations production plant in Kröllendorf jobs at other AGRANA sites – ideally at the fruit juice concentrate facility in Kröllendorf or in the fruit preparations plant at the Gleisdorf site.  Management and the Works Council will jointly prepare a severance package for those personnel without the option of a new position.  AGRANA is fully aware of its responsibility vis-a-vis employees and therefore attaches great importance to implementing these plans as socially compatibly as possible.  

Kröllendorf remains important site for fruit juice concentrates

At the Kröllendorf site and in a joint venture with Raiffeisen Ware Austria AG, AGRANA operates both the production facility as well as the head office of the Fruit Juice division, which operates under the name Austria Juice GmbH. This company is not affected by the changes described above. With its plant in Kröllendorf and a further 13 international production facilities, AGRANA aims to consolidate its role as a leading supplier of fruit juice concentrates, fruit purées, beverage bases, natural flavourings and NFC juices to the down-stream beverages industry.

Original source: Agrana