Since 2010, a lasting downturn in the European economy and consumer spending has led to a significant decline in sales in this region. While European sales volumes now show signs of gradual improvement, the group’s Fresh Dairy Products division in Europe has seen overall business fall back, with local cases of surplus capacity.
In this context, Danone announced a plan to close its sites at Casale Cremasco, Italy; Hagenow, Germany; and Budapest, Hungary—all countries particularly hard hit by the fall in sales. The planned closure of these three plants and a gradual shift in production volumes to Belgium, Poland, Germany and France should allow the Fresh Dairy Products division to improve its production capacity and competitive edge in Europe.
This plan would lead to the suppression of 100 positions in Italy, 70 positions in Germany and 155 positions in Hungary. Working closely with works council representatives, Danone intends to take social measures identifying job solutions for each of the employees who might be concerned. This project would be fully implemented by mid-2015.