Mars is set to invest an additional €130m ($140m) across eight of its factories in France.

The company said in a statement today (13 May) that the investment will create 72 new jobs in the eight Mars factories across the country, having revealed the plan at the pan-industry Choose France investment summit.

A “significant part of the investment” will go towards installing new pet-food production lines at the Saint-Denis-de-L’Hôtel site, which makes Pedigree and Whiskas products.

Mars said it will “modernise” the existing production setup and “increase production capacity” at the site, employing around 60 new employees there per year.

The business will also invest nearly €48m of the total figure into its nutritional pet-food brand Royal Canin at its Aimargues site in Gard. The funds will be used to “renovate kennels and offices to ensure the well-being of employees and pets”, as well as install solar panels and increase storage capacities for raw materials.

The privately-owned group’s confectionery division is set to receive circa €50m of the capital expenditure. Mars will inject nearly €50m in its Alsatian factories, mainly for its M&M’s brand which will receive €47m towards its Haguenau factory.

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The Haguenau site, which claims to be the largest M&M’s factory in Europe, will see its “entire industrial cold production chain” funded to reduce its environmental footprint.

The project aims to replace existing equipment containing “greenhouse refrigerant gases” with new equipment containing a natural refrigerant with a very low environmental impact. It will also reportedly reduce the site’s electricity consumption by 17% and its water consumption by 33%.

Romain Dumas, managing director of Mars Petcare & Food in France, said: “At Mars, we are deeply committed to making a significant contribution to the French economy and society. This commitment is based on our mission, which is to continue to develop our business to create value for people, animals company and the planet, while reducing our emissions.

“This investment aims not only to improve our infrastructure, but also to support local communities and promote sustainable development. With these initiatives, we strengthen our commitment to France, demonstrate our confidence in its ability to innovate and prosper, and actively participate in its economic dynamism for a responsible and sustainable future. We look forward to a constructive conversation with the government on the need to continue economic reforms to unleash growth in France and the EU.”