Finnish snacks giant Paulig considers axing Swedish Tex Mex chips site

By Ben BOUCKLEY contact

- Last updated on GMT

Paulig's snack business is headquartered in Roeselare, Belgium - the company is considering closing its Swedish site to consolidate production here
Paulig's snack business is headquartered in Roeselare, Belgium - the company is considering closing its Swedish site to consolidate production here

Related tags: United states

Finland’s Paulig Group has mooted a plan to close a Swedish factory in Sweden that produces Tex Mex potato chips and consolidate production in Belgium.

Helsinki-headquartered Paulig said its Santa Maria division will investigate the possibility of relocating production of Tex Mex chips from Mölndal in Sweden to Rosealare in Belgium.

The company said that negotiations with Swedish union officails would begin today over the future of 81 staff at the site, and are expected to continue throughout the spring.

While Santa Maria’s Swedish taco factory produces 5,000+ tonnes of tacos, chips and taco shells annually, Paulig said that continued production would require significant investment in plant and the facility itself.

Johan Sundelin, MD of Santa Maria AB and head of Paulig's World Foods & Flavouring division, said the Swedish factory’s efficiency had improved steadily in recent years.

'We've been considering alternatives for a few years now'

“However, we have been considering alternative solutions for a few years now as we will have to invest in both machinery as well as the factory property in the future. So far we haven’t found any economically viable solutions,”​ he said.

“As there is free capacity in this segment within Paulig Group, we need to investigate this possibility,” ​he said, adding that Swedish staff could be given the option to relocate to Belgium, where the Roeselare plant (main picture, the HQ of Paulig's snack food division) produces around 40,000 tonnes of chips and tacos per year and has spare capacity.

“The process is at a very early stage, but it is clear that a possible transfer of the production would affect the employees. This is something that obviously would be subject to union negotiations. I fully understand the uncertainty that employees feel, but we must have respect for the ongoing investigation and negotiation process,” ​Sundelin said.

Family owned firm posts $900m sales in 2013

Founded in 1876, Finnish food giant Paulig posted sales of €850m in 2013 but is still family-owned. Active in coffee, world foods and flavoring and industrial flavoring, as well as snacks, it employs around 2,000 staff across 15 countries.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Snacks

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