UPDATED: Orkla, the large Norwegian food producer, looks set to shut down some of its local factories and move production to Sweden where it would be cheaper. Labour organizations representing the Norwegian workers are protesting.
The board of Orkla Foods Norge has decided to move production from Gimsøy Kloster in Skien to other Orkla factories, with its beverages bound for Kumla in Sweden. Orkla’s Fun Light drinks syrup and its Tomtegløgg have made up the largest portion of the production at the Skien plant. Other Gimsøy Kloster products will be made elsewhere, with a pending loss of 24 jobs in Skien.
Orkla’s Idun plant at Rygge in Østfold County, where around 80 people currently work, is also set for changes, with production of its ketchup, mustard and salad dressings bound for an Orkla factory at Fågelmara in Sweden. Production of Nora vegetable products would remain in Rygge, along with a new logistics center. Local workers and even the mayor of Rygge are protesting, since around half the jobs at the plant are on the block. “I can’t be more concrete, but the community’s wish is to contribute to a solution here,” said Mayor Inger-Lise Skartlien of the Labour Party.
All the moves are part of an new efficiency program at Orkla. “We have a need to gather production at fewer production locations to become more competitive,” Atle Vidar Nagel-Johansen of Orkla state in a press release. “It involves shutting down some factores while investing in others.”