French dairy group Lactalis will end camembert production at its plant in Saint-Maclou, in Brittany, by the end of the year.

The plant, which has an annual output of 4,500 tonnes, produces Lepetit camembert, a brand dating back to 1872, as well as retailers' own brands.  It employs 93 staff.

Lactalis will maintain milk collection activities at the plant, safeguarding 26 jobs. The remainder of the workforce will be offered posts elsewhere in the group.    

A company spokesman told just-food on yesterday (29 September) that the decision to end production at the Saint-Maclou plant had been taken to a backdrop of falling sales since the start of the year and rising milk prices which had taken a box of camembert beyond the "psychological  threshold" of EUR2 (US$2.63).   

"In moving production to another plant in the region we'll be able to rationalise on costs," the spokesman said.