Chile’s Luchetti food company plans to sell its San Bernardo soup factory and move production to a smaller site.

 The plant can produce 3,000 tons of soup powder per year, but has been operating below capacity since 1997, when the company lost a contract with the National Schools and Grants Committee to provide soup for under-privileged school children in Chile.

 Production will be moved to Luchetti’s subsidiary company Italpasta in May or June of 2001, and annual output reduced to 1,500 tons.

 Luchetti has been looking for a strategic partner since Findim Investments sold its 10.21% stake in mid-1999, and is currently negotiating with Italian multinational Barilla.

By Steve Anderson, correspondent