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Ed Leahy

BY ED LEAHY

Greenyard could axe 422 jobs

British and German workers are most vulnerable, says the Belgian company, which revealed its transformation plan today

Greenyard could axe 422 jobs

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Greenyard has announced it may shed up to 422 jobs across its operations as part of drastic transformation plans.

The company stated that Britain and Germany would be worst affected by job losses following a turbulent year for the group which saw it hit by a €113 million loss in the first half of 2018.

In January 2019 it launched a radical “Transformation Plan” to restructure the company in response to a negative balance sheet. Greenyard states that it hopes to “revitalise” volumes and margins and deliver a €100m euro REBITDA improvement by 2020/21, as it shifts towards becoming a “vertically integrated partner” for retail customers.

Details of the plan, released today, also reveal Greenyard is exploring the divestment of its prepared division to help deleverage the company, as well as announcing plans to close its Baja frozen plant in Hungary, less than a year after it was identified as the source of a two-year listeria outbreak.

Greenyard stated it also aims to divest a further €50m - €75m of assets having already sold off its horticulture business in December for €120m.

In January, Greenyard appointed Marc Zwaaneveld as joint CEO alongside Hein Deprez to help overhaul the company’s structure, having previously served as chief transformation officer.

Zwaaneveld said Greenyard has a “bright future”, but many of its employees face uncertainty ahead following today’s announcement. 

“Unfortunately, 422 jobs will potentially be impacted by the Transformation Plan, spread over different countries, but primarily in Fresh in the United Kingdom and Germany,” Greenyard stated.

“This will of course be subject to any applicable local information and consultation procedure. Greenyard will do its utmost best to give the affected employees the appropriate support. Greenyard will investigate the possibility to transfer employees within the company from existing roles to new roles. Greenyard will treat diligently to ensure customer service levels will not be affected by this transformation.”

Following the news, Hein Deprez, co-CEO blamed a series of unfortunate events on Greenyard’s recent struggles.

“This year’s extremely dry summer, the recall action beginning of the summer, but in particular, the continuing market pressure have called for important decisions,” he said.

“After years of growing Greenyard, it is time to consolidate and to use our strength and scale to become an even closer partner to our customers. We want to remain the retail’s strong and efficient partner, even stronger than today. A partner that is ready for the long term, together with its customer. Today, we are already making strong progress on these initiatives. 

“This also implies a transformation of the organisation. We believe that these measures are needed for a healthier future for Greenyard, its employees, its customers, its suppliers and its shareholders.” 

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