Norwegian food group Orkla is consolidating its biscuit operations into a yet-to-be built plant in Latvia that will see its two existing sites close down.

The move is part of the company’s overall moves to cut the number of manufacturing facilities and make its operations more efficient.

Orkla’s biscuit plants are located in the Swedish town of Kungälv and the Latvian capital Riga. Production will move to a new site outside of Riga, with the shift expected to take place by the end of 2022, the company said in a statement today (11 June).

Ann-Beth Freuchen, the group’s executive vice president and chief executive of Orkla’s confectionery and snacks arm, said: “The new production plant will secure Orkla’s future competitiveness, allowing [us] to focus investments on new technology, increase cost effectiveness and create a stronger production platform, which will give us an exciting opportunity to create new products, offer innovations, as well as to increase exports.”

Orkla said talks have been ongoing with staff representatives since January. It will maintain a product development centre in Kungälv. 

The company has been busy of late making acquisitions and undertaking consolidation measures. 

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By GlobalData

In November, Orkla said it planned to bring production of its vegan Anamma brand in Sweden under one roof at Eslov and close its site at Simrishamn in a move slated to start this summer and end towards the end of the year or early in 2019. That same month it sold its K-Salat business in Denmark to Danish dressings, salads and sausage supplier Stryhns. 

And Orkla has made a number of acquisitions over the past seven months or so, namely a majority stake in the Swedish sales and distribution company Werners Gourmetservice, a majority shareholding in Danish pizza restaurant chain Gorm’s and the purchase of Denmark’s Struer Brod, a producer of breakfast cereals and breadcrumbs

Last November, the company also acquired Sweden’s Health and Sports Nutrition Group (HSNG) and the Czech frozen vegetable producer Agrimex.