Potato Processor McCain Foods Belgium plans to shut down its production of potato specialties in Grobbendonk early 2016. The production will be transferred to Leuze-en-Heinaut to a factory of McCain subsidiary Lutosa.
This was reported to the Grobbendonk staff last Friday during a special staff meeting. "This decision potentially impacts 92 workers and 31 employees," according to a McCain statement.
The motivation behind the move is the competitiveness of the Grobbendonk site, due to the fact that the Grobbendonk potato specialty production is aging and is not integrated with other products like in Leuze: "The production costs at the Grobbendonk site are 25% higher than at the Leuze site. Confronted with increasingly strong competition threatening McCain's market position in the potato specialty sector, the current profitability of the Grobbendonk plant is insufficient to face these new challenges."
McCain plans to centralize all potato specialty production for continental Europe in Leuze-en-Heinaut. On a voluntary basis, Grobbendonk employees affected by the closure are offered the opportunity to fill 42 new positions resulting from the expanded production in Leuze.
Activities unrelated to the production will remain.
Potato Croquettes, one of many potato specialties currently produced in Grobbendonk