Siro to build new biscuit plant

Siro has said that the Fontaneda biscuit factory it acquired from
United Biscuits last year is too small to meet its ambitious growth

Siro is to build what it calls the most modern biscuit plant in the world to replace a site in Castilla y Leon acquired last year from United Biscuit's Fontaneda subsidiary.

Juan Manuel Gonzalez, president of Siro, said that a study had shown that the former UB plant at Aguilar de Campoo was too small to house the new production lines planned by the company, and that a new facility would instead be built in the same town.

The existing plant makes Galletas de Aguilar biscuits but the new facility will produce "innovative and different"​ products according to Gonzalez, although he did not elaborate on what these products might be.

The construction of the new plant will cost the company some €35 million, around €10 million more than the company originally estimated would be needed to refit the old factory.

United Biscuit's decision to close the Fontaneda plant at Aguilar de Campoo because of its poor profitability levels led to a major dispute between the company and Spanish unions. After eight months of negotiations, UB agreed to sell the factory to Siro, which in turn pledged to continue production there.

Siro did not say whether the old plant will continue to operate once the new facility is open, although it seems unlikely. But with staff levels likely to be not only maintained but possibly increased by the construction of a larger facility, it has already received the backing of the unions.

The Castilla y Leon regional authorities have also supported the company's plans, and have pledged to cover some 35 per cent of the costs.

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