Week-long worker strike at French Nutella factory

The Ferrero group has reportedly been affected by a week-long strike at its largest international Nutella production facilities in France.

According to national media including the UK’s Guardian newspaper, the industrial action is impacting on the company’s Villers-Écalles factory, which reportedly produces 600,000 jars of the market-leading spread a day.

However, union sources have said that around 160 employees have gone on strike at the facility, demanding a 4.5% pay increase, as well as bonus payments.

But company officials reportedly responded that the strike was unlawful, and workers faced fines should the action continue, with management stating that the priority was to protect the interests of those who were continuing to work.

Confectionery Production understands that around 25% of the company’s Nutella production is operated from Villers-Ecalles, with the range remaining one of its top selling confectionery items.

The spread was first introduced in the 1960s, and has gained a global fanbase, with its distinctive hazelnut flavour. The use of nuts has posed a challenge for the business, with crops in Turkey said to have experienced poor harvests in recent years.

In 2017, Ferrero changed the recipe slightly, increasing the level of sugar within the product, which prompted concern from some consumers. However, the brand has maintained its popularity, with the company posting overall global turnover of €10.5 billion.

The company has confirmed that the strike has now ended. In a statement, it said: “Ferrero France confirmed the end of the strike. The company and its social partners welcome this positive outcome. The Ferrero Group reaffirms its commitment to peaceful and constructive dialogue, in the interest of all its employees, partners and consumers.”

 

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