Nestlé has confirmed to staff unions that it plans to close its Saint-Menet plant in Marseilles, in southern France.

The plant, which employs 430 staff and produces chocolate bars and instant and decaffeinated coffee, is set to close during 2005.

According to union sources, production at the plant has fallen dramatically over the past few months.

Three years ago, Nestlé shed 100 jobs at the plant, which at its height employed 1,200 staff.

Staff at the plant have this week staged industrial action in protest to the closure with go-slows and blocking entry to trucks.