Back in July Dutch dairy group Campina unveiled its plans for a new programme designed to improve its competitive position and reduce labour costs. Now the company has revealed more about the Innovation Daily Fresh Production Netherlands programme and how it will be put into practice over the next 18 months.
The company said that the plan would involve the closure of a production plant in Woerden, the Netherlands, as well as the construction of a new facility in Maasdam to concentrate on speciality dairy products. Production of other dairy products currently undertaken by Campina's Maasdam facility will be transferred to other plants, the company said.
The July statement confirmed that Campina's sour product output (such as yoghurts) would be transferred from Woerden to the new plant in Maasdam, and the company has now revealed that sweet product production (such as desserts and puddings) will also leave the Woerden plant, transferring instead to the company's site at Elsterwerda, near Dresden, in Germany.
Campina said the German site would become one of its key dessert facilities in Europe, not least because labour costs were much lower in Germany than in the Netherlands, making it far more economical to expand output there.
The closure of the Dutch plant and transfer of production will entail the loss of 150 jobs in the Netherlands over the next two years, and although some staff will be able to relocate to ther Campina sites, the company said that this would not be possible for most of them. Employees will be asked themselves to make the decision as to whether to stay with the company or to leave; if they wish to stay, they must state which plant they would prefer and this will be taken into account by the management when considering who to retain and who to let go.
The job losses are part of a wider programme of staff reductions in a bid to reduce the company's high labour costs. By the end of 2003, around 250 of the 3,600 full-time employees at Campina in the Netherlands will have lost their jobs, with most of them coming from areas not directly linked to dairy product production. This figure of 250 includes a number of losses linked to the Dairy Storm programme designed to improve the performance at Campina's DMV International subsidiary, but excludes the 150 losses likely to be entailed by the current restructuring plan.