Haribo, the German maker of the iconic gummy bear, is slashing 15 percent of its workforce in France as part of a restructuring programme to improve competitiveness and to open its first manufacturing plant in the United States.
In an interview with French daily Le Monde on Monday, the head of Haribo France, Jean-Philippe André, said the down-sizing will affect around 100 of its 750 workers at its two production plants in Uzès and Marseille in southern France.
Staff agreeing to voluntary departures and early retirement schemes will be prioritised when making cut-backs, which are expected to be completed by the end of 2018, he said.
“There was a real gap between the very good financial situation of the company and the restructuring plan,” André told the newspaper.
The company could avoid shutting down one of the two plants thanks to voluntary departures and early retirement of staff at both sites, he said.
“If we hadn’t signed this agreement, we would have had to close one of the two sites down by 2020,” he was cited as saying.
The news comes less than two weeks after the Bonn-based confectionary group announced it was opening its first ever US factory in Wisconsin in 2020, creating some 400 jobs.
“We’re planning to build one of the biggest facilities in the confectionary industry,” Web Saber, the chief financial officer of Haribo of America, said at the time.
The company is also set to open a new factory on its home-turf in Germany later this year.
Haribo was founded in 1920 and has been present in France since 1967. It employs around 7,000 people worldwide.
By Louise Nordstrom
Source: France 24
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