A breaking point.
“Evoking last week the energy wall that many French agri-food companies are preparing to face, Mathieu Thomazeau, the president of Cofigeo (William Saurin, Garbit) half-acknowledged the impossibility for his French canneries to continue to operate. given energy prices.
Now the decision is made.
This Tuesday, the group known for its brands William Saurin, Garbit, Raynal and Roquelaure and Zapetti announced the upcoming shutdown of four of its eight factories in France.
Namely the sites of Capdenac (Aveyron), Pouilly-sur-Serre (Aisne), Camaret-sur-Aigues (Vaucluse) and Lagny (Marne).
This represents approximately 80% of the group's production completely shut down.
And 800 of its 1,200 French employees will be granted a long-term partial activity agreement (APLD).
The purpose of this decision is to deal with the spectacular rise in its energy costs (gas and electricity needed for cooking and sterilizing ready meals and recipes), which will be multiplied by 10 from the start of the year.
“, justified the group in a press release.
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Energy bill of 40 million euros
Already last week, Cofigeo, which has a turnover of 330 million euros, 90% of which is in France, warned of the surge in its energy rating on January 1.
"It will go overnight, from 4 million to 40 million euros
" figured with
Mathieu Thomazeau, its president.
After months of savings, the specialist in canned couscous and cassoulets felt that it had no other solution than to prepare to stop its production lines.
The canning specialist thus signed an agreement a few weeks ago with its unions to set up an APLD in its eight French factories.
The goal: to be able to adapt its production quickly.
“which is doing everything possible to get out of this situation as quickly as possible”
does not specify the duration of the planned production stoppage.
But he insists, alongside the 10% drop in his energy consumption,
“the imperative need to pass on these waves of inflation which will increase from January 1 with the end of our energy coverage”.
Since December 1, distributors and food manufacturers have been in discussions to set prices for 2023. The latter are insisting on a significant increase in their supplier prices, given the prices of gas and electricity.
This choice of Cofigeo is a small thunderbolt in the food industry.
In view of the inflation of its costs, it has been alerting for weeks to the risk of production line stoppages.
Until then, apart from a few heavy industry players like Duralex, no food manufacturer had taken such a drastic decision.
According to several sources, other agri-food groups could be in great difficulty in January, weakening the continuity of production.
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