Barilla is to invest EUR30m (US$40m) over three years at subsidiary company's Harry's bakery plant in Montierchaume, central France.

It will be the Italian food group's biggest investment in France since it acquired the brand in 2003.

The investment will focus on the transfer of production from Harry's plant in Châteauroux, which is earmarked for closure, to Montierchaume, creating one of the biggest industrial bakery sites in France.

"There is room to expand at Montierchaume which isn't the case at the Châteauroux plant and concentrating Harry's activities on a single site in the region will
enhance productivity and facilitate development," a spokesperson for Barilla France told just-food.

The 197 staff employed at Châteauroux are to be offered work at the Montierchaume plant whose workforce totals 500.

Separately, Barilla is investing EUR14m in a new bread production line at Harry's plant in Plaine de l'Ain, near Lyon.