Boycott discussed over Danone's restructuring

The Danone Group - a major player...

The Danone Group​ - a major player in the fresh dairy product, the biscuit and the bottled water industries - claims it needs restructuring to remain competitive in the global market. The restructuring includes the reorganisation of the biscuit production plants in several European countries: profitable sites will be increased in size in order to reduce costs and number of production lines; local, specialised plants will remain untouched ; and some plants will be closed - their production being transferred to other plants in the same country. This reorganisation should provide assistance to the affected employees: access to jobs newly created in other plants, training and personal assistance, programs to promote employment in the impacted communities. The restructuring plans have led to some social upheavals such as strikes and calls for boycott of the group's products. Some employees from LU​ - one of Danone's biscuit companies affected by the plan - have called for a boycott. According to a survey cited in "Les Echos", 70% of the consumers asked are prepared to stop buying Danone food products. Some towns have already removed all Danone products from their school menus and hospital kitchens. Some French government ministers have also approved the boycott, "(it's) a good way for citizens to show their solidarity with the employees and their disapproval of a profitable company's procedures" said Dominique Voynet, French Minister of the Environment. However, the unions are not in favour of the boycott. They claim it could lead to temporary unemployment in other plants of the group and it would make products from foreign competitors more attractive.

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