Food company Riviana Foods, a subsidiary of Spain's Ebro Puleva, has announced the cutting of 130 jobs from its US workforce of 1,075.

The move is part of an effort to achieve cost savings that will allow it to increase competitiveness in today's challenging marketplace, it said. The reduction will affect operations in Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee.

The workforce reduction begins immediately and is expected to be completed by year end. 

"This is an extremely difficult decision to make but one that we believe is necessary to improve operating efficiency and attain our tandem goals of funding innovative new products and building brand awareness," said W. David Hanks, president and CEO.

The location most affected will be the company's Abbeville, Louisiana, packaging and milling operations where approximately 100 jobs will be eliminated.  The company will continue to mill rice in Abbeville and will retain approximately 100 people there.

"Riviana and its predecessors have had operations in Abbeville since the turn of the last century and our company has strong ties to the town and its people," Hanks said.  "Unfortunately, it is simply not economically feasible to modernize the facilities, some of which are over 90 years old, to achieve the level of efficiency that is necessary today and to economically provide the highest quality products and service to our markets throughout the United States."

Hanks said that a further 30 positions will be eliminated from the Corporate office as well as processing and technical services function in Houston, Rayne, Jennings and Crowley, Louisiana, Brinkley and Carlisle, Arkansas, and Memphis, Tennessee.