ADM set to close two animal nutrition factories in France

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Zoonar RF
© GettyImages/Zoonar RF

Related tags: Adm, Neovia, job losses

Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is planning to close two production plants at its animal nutrition division in France, as first reported by Reuters.

The move is part of its restructuring following the acquisition of Neovia in 2019 for US$1.81bn.

The planned facility closures, along with a marketing office, could likely lead to the loss of 88 jobs, said a spokesperson.

The company presented a reorganization project in relation to its animal nutrition activities in France to employee representatives in that country on Wednesday.

"The aim of this project is to adapt to the current animal nutrition market in France, which has gone through changes in the past few years and is becoming increasingly competitive," ​the spokesperson told us.

More specifically, she said the project will address two challenges:

  • at the industrial level, an issue of overcapacity in certain production lines
  • at the commercial level, an organization that is too complex for our clients.

"Several measures have been put in place since 2019 to begin addressing these challenges, but ADM must now implement a more ambitious plan​." 

In concrete terms, the proposed reorganization would consist of two main pillars:

  • the modernization, specialization and rationalization of the industrial footprint, with €12m of investments to revamp and specialize several sites, but also with the potential closure of two of the 10 production sites: Sermix Argentan in the Orne department and Sermix Languidic in the Morbihan department.
  • the overhaul of the commercial approach, with a restructuring of the internal sales organization based and a new geographical organization to better cover the French territory, that could lead to headcount reduction and the closure of the commercial office in Saint-Grégoire, in the Ille-et-Vilaine department.

With regard to the sites that could be closed, not all positions would necessarily be cut: some positions could be attached to other sites, and internal reclassification measures would also be proposed, said the ADM representative. 

Neovia had about 1,000 staff in France when it was bought out by the agribusiness giant. Its 2019 redundancy drive led to 120 job cuts, mostly at Neovia's former headquarters in Saint-Nolff, Brittany.

Pierre Duprat, president, ADM Animal Nutrition, speaking to this publication at the time the acquisition was finalized, mentioned job cuts were possible: “Perhaps, there will be [restructuring] on the support, or more corporate functions. There may be a few changes in the organization, here and there.”

The Neovia deal brought ADM scale, with greater reach into Central America and South America. “Neovia is also quite strong in Western Europe. It has already invested in Africa, and it is in many countries in Southeast Asia, so [now we truly have] global reach,”​ said Duprat back then. 

This article was updated on March 26 to take account of ADM's comments.

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