Consumer goods giant Unilever is to close its Breyers ice cream plant in Massachusetts with the loss of 201 jobs.

The closure is expected to be completed “no later than” the second half of 2010, the company said Friday (3 April) and will involve production from the Framingham-based plant shifting to “other sites” within the Unilever business.

Unilever Ice Cream director of manufacturing Steve Rosemary said that the closure is intended to help streamline operations.

“Unilever continually looks for ways to achieve greater efficiencies across our supply chain network,” said Rosemary. “After a long and careful analysis, we have determined that greater efficiencies can be achieved by shifting production to other company plants in the US. This decision was a difficult one and in no way reflects the dedication or performance of our Framingham colleagues.”

Last month Unilever launched a line of “super-premium” ice creams in collaboration with Starbucks based on the coffee chain’s drinks.

The launch is the first new line of products from the two companies after they signed a deal to produce and sell Starbucks ice cream in the US and Canada last September.