Jobs under threat at Sara Lee

Posted by Josette Dunn on 12th July 2010

Jobs are under threat at the Spanish arm of US food giant Sara Lee as the company reviews its bakery operations in the country.Sara Lee has been looking at different ways to distribute its bread throughout Spain and reports in the country have claimed the company could outsource distribution to local logistics firms.

The company said on Friday (9 July) that it has been “testing different alternatives” to deliver products through local distributors.

Sara Lee told just-food it had yet to make a final decision on what system to use and insisting it was still “gathering data” from the review.

“We currently serve some 900 routes (500 owned, 400 independent) that entail more than 45,000 weekly visits to stores. However, the prevalent trend in Spain and other developed markets is to shift towards a platform model – by which manufacturers supply distribution centers owned by customers, who then determine their preferred way of supplying their stores,” the company said.

Reports in Spain have suggested around 1,400 workers could be affected by Sara Lee refused to disclose any numbers.

“When we do reach a decision, we will present our choice to our employees. We will then negotiate with employee representatives to find the best possible solution for everyone in terms of future preserving employment, identifying career paths, ensuring market competitiveness and driving overall business sustainability,” Sara Lee said.

The company refused to disclose the sales it generates from its Spanish bakery business.

However, Sara Lee said its international bakery business had sales of US$790m in fiscal year 2009, against $929m in fiscal 2008.

just-food is the world’s leading portal for the global pre-packaged food and retail industries. Its daily mix of breaking news, views, analysis and research serves over 100,000 food executives each month.