Spanish food company Grupo Alimentario Citrus has acquired two European plants producing fresh salads from French co-op Agrial as part of the company’s international expansion.

The sites are located in Hünenberg, Switzerland, and Novara in Italy. Both are specialists in ready-to-eat salads and are owned by the French cooperative Agrial. The plants supply retailers and foodservice channels in their respective markets.

Valencia-based Alimentario instigated an “internationalisation” plan in 2015 and as part of that objective bought Thurländer, another fresh salad maker located in Germany, last October.

Rafael Boix, Alimentario’s general manager, said: “We want to become the first choice for consumers when it comes to fresh, healthy produce and, with this acquisition, we can take our innovative capacity and our assortment to new markets and new consumers. The new plants in Switzerland and Italy represent a milestone in our international growth plan and strengthen us in order to carry on growing even more sustainably.”

The Swiss plant is situated close to Zurich and employs around 130 people. It generated a turnover of EUR24m (US$27.1m) last year. The Italian facility is located near Milan and has 44 workers and a smaller turnover of EUR9.7m. Alimentario said the jobs are secure under the deal.

Following the recent deals, Alimentario now has seven ready-to-eat production facilities across Europe, with four of those located in Spain, and the others in the countries of the recently-acquired sites.