Dutch-based food and ingredients company Vion has announced more than 630 potential redundancies in its Dutch and German businesses after disappointing result for 2011 prompted the company to accelerate efficiencies outlined in its long-term strategy plan.
The food company has looked at its three home markets of the Netherlands, Germany and the UK and identified changes and closures to make the business more efficient and effective in the light of its financial woes.
A statement from the company said: “These measures will not be without job cuts, both as a result of plants being closed and changes to back-office activities.”
The company said it was implementing measures at an “accelerated pace”, but that this would differ from country to country as well as from market to market, with products that do not “sufficiently match the strategy” being discontinued.
Around 340 jobs in the Netherlands and 290 in Germany are under threat and the company has not ruled out further redundancies in the UK. However, it said that due to the complexity and scope of the UK business, which has around 40 sites and processes all four major protein groups, more time and attention is required to determine the best way to proceed.
In the changes that have been confirmed, the Vion Druten site in the Netherlands will cease operations, with production moving to Vion Boxtel and Groenlo. Changes, as yet unspecified, will also be made to the Meat Encebe production, range and organisation, as well as to indirect support departments and logistics service provider Distrifresh Boxtel.
Structural changes in Germany will also result in the loss of 290 jobs, primarily to lower the cost of support departments and concentrate activity.
CEO and chairman of the board Uwe Tillmann said: “The starting points of our strategic vision have been reconfirmed. Achieving sustainable partnership relationships with strategic customers continues to be of prime importance, both now and in the future. We continue to invest in these partnerships, as well as in product quality and effectiveness. The right balance and choices will determine our future success.
“We are further optimising our production, logistics, ICT and sales, thus also reducing costs. Unfortunately, this will not be possible without streamlining certain activities and making some redundancies. In the interest of our customers, our suppliers, and our employees, we will now, more than ever, be committed to added value and our credo ‘Passion for Better Food’.”
In May, Vion reported ‘disappointing’ results for 2011, with increased pressure from raw materials pushing operating profits down by 53% despite a 7% increase in turnover.