Finland-based food group Raisio has blamed falling industry demand for rapeseed oil for its decision to temporarily lay off staff at a domestic plant.

The company is looking to lay off 31 staff at its oil milling plant for a maximum of 90 days. The lay-offs will start in May but Raisio insisted it would seek to offer the affected workers alternative jobs.

A Raisio spokesperson told just-food that the company used a quarter of its rapeseed oil production for its own food and feed products, predominantly margarine.

However, she admitted the global economic crisis and led to a fall in demand from the company's business customers. "That is the reason why we needed to react to the situation," she said today (31 March).

The spokesperson added that Raisio would reassess its staffing needs after the end of the 90-day period, which is the maximum permitted for temporary lay-offs under Finnish law.