French tinned meals producer William Saurin, best-known for its cassoulet dish, is to close one of its four production plants with the loss of almost 50 jobs, unions sources claim.

The plant, located at Saint-Marcel (Saône-et-Loire), in centre-east France, makes pâtés and salad dishes.

The announcement was made at an extraordinary meeting of the works council but no information was disclosed on the time frame for the plant closure. In respect of the legislation in place, an assessor has been appointed in order to make counter-proposals to closure.

Labour unions argue the plant is profitable and that its activities will be re-located to sub-contractors of the company as a cost-cutting measure.   

William Saurin's parent, Turenne Lafayette, also controls the Garbit and Petitjean brands and produces supermarkets' own brands too.