French agri-food cooperative Euralis plans to shut two plants operated by its food division as part of a restructuring process.

The production sites are located in Dunkirk, where Euralis makes private-label delicatessen products for retailers, and in Brive, south-west France, where output focuses on duck specialities such as foie-gras and magret.

Buyers will be sought for the plants, which are scheduled to close by the end of 2019 with the loss of 313 jobs. The co-op will offer 44 positions within the group to redundant workers.

Euralis said the decision to close the factories had been triggered by heavy losses in the division totalling EUR63m (US$75.6m) over the past five years, and also debts of EUR186m, which were putting a strain on investment and development of its brands.

In 2017, the co-op noted private-label deli activity was in the red to the tune of EUR8m, accounting for almost all of the food division’s losses.

Meanwhile, demand for duck-related products was hit by two bird-flu epidemics in 2015 and 2016.

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By GlobalData

The remaining plants in the food division, which include those for the production of Euralis’ own deli brand Jean Stalaven, and two foie-gras brands, Rougié and Montfort, will benefit from investment of EUR45m over three years focusing on modernisation of facilities and information technology systems.

Provision is made to create up to 157 new jobs in targeting new activities for several of the plants.

Still, Euralis’ plant closures are going ahead even after the food division posted a turnover of EUR475m last year.