Avril spent EUR31m on setting up new plant

Avril spent EUR31m on setting up new plant

Avril Group, the French agrifood business, has opened a new site for bottling vegetable oils near Bordeaux.

The company said the site, in Bassens, north of the city, brings together the operations of two facilities. Avril has had a subsidiary - Saipol - based in Bassens since 1979. Until the summer, its Lesieur arm had a plant on the other side of the river Garonne in Bacalan.

Saipol produces and sells in France refined vegetable oils for human foods, protein-rich oilseed meals for animal feeds, biodiesel under the Diester brand and vegetable glycerin used for numerous industrial applications.

Lesieur manufactures and markets vegetable oils under brands such as Lesieur, Puget, ISIO 4, Frial and Fleur de Colza.

The operations of the Bacalan site have moved to the expanded site in Bassens, which will produce the products of both subsidiaries. Avril has described the new site as an "agro-industrial cluster, integrating the entire chain from raw grain to bottled oil". The company told just-food no jobs have been lost. The site has 200 employees, with 94 people in the new Lesieur factory.

"Avril's new agro-industrial cluster in the south-west provides the group with a site that is exemplary in terms of production quality which exceeds the highest standards in the food industry," Yves Delaine, who holds the roles of Avril's deputy CEO and president of Lesieur, said.

The factory has the capacity to produce 100 million litres of packaged oils per year. It will bottle and package oil to be sold under the Frial, Fruit d'Or, Lesieur Cœur de Tournesol and ISIO 4 brands.

The oils are supplied from Saipol's refining facilities, which are now on site.