French vegetable processor Bonduelle has announced that it plans to close its Antwerp Westmeerbeek canning facility, with the loss of around 130 jobs.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed that the move comes in response to the “sluggish” consumption of canned vegetables in Europe and the site’s need for further investment to ensure continued operation.

“This is the smallest of the group’s canning operations and it has become uneconomical to keep running,” the group’s spokesperson said.

Bonduelle said that its operations have been hit by falling demand for canned vegetables, particularly in the Benelux and German markets.

Declining demand has resulted in overcapacity and a pressure on margins, which has had a negative impact on year-to-date profitability, the group revealed today (11 February).

Responding to these pressures, Bonduelle insisted that it would look to streamline operations and maximise efficiency.

Production will be relocated to plants in northern France, Bonduelle added.