French cheese maker, Fromageries Bel, whose brands include The Laughing Cow,  is investing EUR25m (US$32.9m) in its two of  its French  production plants in the centre-west of the country.
 
Investment will target modernising manufacturing equipment, adding new capacity and increasing productivity.
 
The two plants, located in Evron and Sablé, produce Bel's Mini-Babybel et Kiri brands and have a current combined annual capacity of 70,000 tonnes. 
 
The investment programme will be implemented  from early 2007 and cover an 18-month period. Funding from the European Union, the French State and other public authorities, will account for roughly 20% of the total amount.
 
Bel's most recent investments have  been outside of France, notably in  Syria, Algeria, Canada and Turkey.