Dutch dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina is to cut more than 1,800 jobs over the next two years as part of plans to cut costs and boost profits.

In an announcement this morning (12 December), the Milner cheese owner said the cuts would take in its operations around the world and affect all parts of the organisation.

FrieslandCampina said the job cuts would result in up to €200m ($215m) in savings.

Around 1,200 employees will be laid off next year.

FrieslandCampina indicated its plans to cut costs across the business in October.

The co-op, which saw its first-half 2023 profits slump more than 94%, said then it was looking to save €400-500m in costs from 2026.

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By GlobalData

CEO Jan Derck van Karnebeek said in this morning’s statement: “Today is a tough day for FrieslandCampina. Over the past period, we have analysed the cost structure of our organisation and we are now announcing difficult but necessary steps to structurally reduce our costs.

“We realise that the announcement of job losses will have a big impact on the people involved. We will therefore do our utmost to inform and assist everyone as best as possible during this difficult time. These cost savings should contribute to FrieslandCampina’s ability to compete and win in the market for the benefit of our employees and member dairy farmers.”

The business has called its cost-savings plan Expedition 2030, which it describes as a “sharpened strategy aimed at strengthening FrieslandCampina’s position as a leading, innovative and sustainable player in the dairy industry”.

It said a part of the annual savings will be needed to offset inflation with the rest divided between investing in “sustainable growth” and increasing the company’s net profit. To realise the savings, one-off costs of up to €170m will be booked in 2023.

The Dutch Lady milk brand owner added there will be no supplementary cash payment to member dairy farmers over 2023 “due to the disappointing financial results in 2023 and aforementioned one-off costs”.

FrieslandCampina is one of the world’s largest dairy businesses, selling its milk, cheese, baby-formula and ingredients in more than 100 countries.

It employs around 22,000 people in 30 countries and had a turnover of €14bn in 2022.