FrieslandCampina in Beilen and Leeuwarden

Following investments in growth, focus shifts to greater efficiency and cost reductions

4 June 2015

In recent years, FrieslandCampina has invested heavily in greater production capacity, quality improvements and safety at production facilities including those in Beilen and Leeuwarden, in anticipation of the end of milk quotas and increasingly stringent quality requirements. At the beginning of this year, a start was made on increasing efficiency and reducing costs at both of these production facilities. As a consequence, during the next three years the number of jobs at these production facilities will be reduced, with job cuts being made at various levels.

At the beginning of this year, FrieslandCampina’s production facilities in Beilen and Leeuwarden, together with staff from various departments within the organisation, made a start on increasing efficiency and reducing costs by making improvements to the way of working. The proposed improvements will result in structural changes, such as new working methods, changes in duties and responsibilities, more efficient staffing, the creation of teams, and adjustments to the organisation structure. At FrieslandCampina’s production facilities in Beilen and Leeuwarden it has become clear that the introduction of the improvements will lead to more efficient business operations. As a consequence, it will be possible to cut jobs at various levels within these production facilities.

Consequences for Beilen and Leeuwarden

The efficiency improvements are expected to lead to between 210 and 230 job cuts, out of a current workforce of 767, in the next three years at FrieslandCampina in Beilen, where infant nutrition and ingredients are produced. In total, 80 to 90 FrieslandCampina employees with permanent employment contracts and 115 to 125 agency workers and employees with temporary contracts will be affected. The remaining jobs cuts (approximately 15) will be achieved through natural turnover. At FrieslandCampina in Leeuwarden, which mostly produces condensed milk for export to the Middle East, Africa and Asia, there will be between 125 and 145 jobs cuts, out of a current workforce of 852, in the next three years. These job cuts will affect 60 to 70 FrieslandCampina employees with permanent employment contracts, and 40 to 45 agency workers and employees with temporary contracts, while some 25 jobs will be lost through natural turnover.

Employee representation

The employee participation bodies, specifically the Central Workers Council and the local works councils in Beilen and Leeuwarden, have been asked to give advice. The trade unions have also been informed. All change initiatives will be dealt with on a phased basis, with separate requests for advice being made for each initiative, which will focus on decisions regarding the positions that are to become redundant and the talks with affected employees.

Social Plan in the Netherlands

Affected employees with permanent employment contracts will be covered by FrieslandCampina’s Social Plan as in force at that time. The current Social Plan expires this year and is no longer in keeping with the situation at FrieslandCampina. The number of locations has continued to decline in recent years, as a result of which there will be less scope for redeployment within the organisation. FrieslandCampina therefore intends to adjust its Social Plan, and it will discuss this matter with the trade unions. The Social Plan will continue to focus on helping employees who lose their jobs to find new work.