The French food manufacturer Danone is going to scrap up to 2,000 administrative functions, of which 400 to 500 in France.
Danone refers to the corona crisis, which has impacted a number of sales channels and led to higher costs. “We need to reinvent ourselves, just as everyone does in their way of living, working and consuming,” said a press release.
“Local first” is central to Danone’s new plans, with more local autonomy and shorter decision lines. The aim is to save 1 billion euros in costs by 2023 and to achieve profitable growth again from the second half of 2021.
The cost savings must come from a “simpler” organization, among other things. “This translates to a reduction of 1,500 to 2,000 positions in our local and global headquarters,” it said. In addition, Danone wants to focus more on digitization in its factories.
From January to September, Danone realized a turnover of approximately 18 billion euros, 5.4 percent less than a year earlier. The sale of bottled drinks in particular suffered from the corona crisis and the associated catering closures in many countries.
Worldwide, Danone employs approximately 100,000 employees. The announcement “will mainly be felt in the different seats” of Danone, explains Ann De Jaeger, communications manager in Belgium. It is not yet clear whether the reorganization at the French food producer Danone will also have an impact on the Belgian activities.
Danone Belgium has about 600 employees: 450 at the factory in Rotselaar (Flemish Brabant) and 150 at the headquarters in Brussels. In addition, about 1,000 people work for the Alpro department, the spokeswoman said.
According to Femke Buys of the trade union ACV Food and Services, the impact of the restructuring for the employees of the Rotselaar site will probably remain limited. The impact would also remain limited at Alpro in Wevelgem, which has been part of Danone since 2016.
“As the plans have now been presented, there will mainly be cuts in positions of board and management,” says Buys. “The operational functions, of which there are many in Rotselaar, will be less affected. The location in Rotselaar is also of great strategic importance, ”Buys continues. “A lot of investments have been made in the factory recently, and there are also about twenty vacancies. People will still be sought for that. ”
According to Buys, a definitive answer can only be given by February 2021. “We are now first studying what the new organization should look like in concrete terms. In the meantime, we will of course do everything we can to keep the impact for employees as limited as possible. ”
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