FINLAND: Hartwell to close brewery, cut jobs

By | 8 October 2009

Hartwall has announced plans to close its Tornio brewery and to consolidate production to its Lahti site, in a move the company said was designed to improve efficiency and "remain competitive in the current challenging beverage market".

The Scandinavian brewer also said today (8 October) that to better meet the present customer needs, a plan has been made to reorganise its sales operations. Furthermore, in order to meet the increased consumer demand for cans, Hartwall is to invest in a new canning line at the Lahti plant.

"The current market environment with increased price competition, rising alcohol taxation, declining beverage market, suggested tax increase on carbonated soft drinks and increased passenger imports put significant pressure on beverage business. At the same time, the off-trade market structure has changed due to a continued centralisation in off-trade purchasing. Furthermore, especially in the on-trade sector, sales have declined," a statement said.

The company said that as a result, Hartwall is to start employee consultation negotiations with all its 100 employees at the Tornio brewery. In addition, Hartwall is to start negotiations with its employees in all sales functions across the country with an estimated number of redundancies of 30.

No other functions are involved, the company said, and the negotiations process will take six to seven weeks.

Managing director of Hartwall, Jan-Kees Nieman, said: "This has been a very difficult decision for Hartwall. The Tornio brewery has a long and proud history. However, retaining two breweries is cost and efficiency wise no longer an option and therefore, the planned loss of jobs is unfortunately unavoidable. We also need to restructure sales to better meet present customer needs. We will put great effort in helping to find alternative employment for all staff leaving the company. In addition, 20 new jobs that will be created at the Lahti site will firstly be offered to leaving staff."

According to plan, the new sales organisation will be in place by 1 January 2010 at the latest, and the Tornio brewery will be closed in September 2010. From then on, all Hartwall's production will be concentrated in the Lahti site. The spring water bottling plant remains in Karijoki.

The new canning line in the Lahti plant is planned to be up and running in June 2010. The investment plan is part of the employee consultation negotiations.

Sectors: Beer & cider, Soft drinks

View next/previous articles

Currently reading -

FINLAND: Hartwell to close brewery, cut jobs

There are currently no comments on this article

Be the first to comment on this article

just-drinks tagline

Not a member? Join here

Decrease font sizeDecrease font sizeDecrease font size Increase font sizeIncrease font sizeIncrease font size Comment on this article Email this to a friend Print this page