Lembeke / BE. (lbbv) In June Lotus Bakeries Group’s production facility at Meise was totally destroyed by fire. In Meise, Liège waffles, vanilla waffles and soft (egg) waffles were produced on four production lines (see bakenet:eu on 05. June).
By transferring production temporarily to the own waffle factory in Courcelles and with help from fellow waffle bakers, the Group was quickly able to develop a short term solution and guarantee supply to its customers. Next to this Lotus Bakeries has developed several alternatives which will allow the Group to ensure the complete waffle production in-house as soon as possible. The various options are:
- Rebuilding of the factory at the existing site in Meise.
- Building a new factory on an industrial estate nearby Meise.
- Transferring all production to the Courcelles plant by expanding the production lines in the existing building.
For each option a detailed plan has been drawn up, reflecting all possible aspects such as investments, production costs, organizational and employment impact, market expectations and growth opportunities. This study shows the third option, namely the integration of the volumes in the plant Courcelles, to be the most appropriate route.
Based on this finding the Group now has made public its intention not to rebuild the Meise production facility, nor to build a new facility nearby Meise, but to expand the plant in Courcelles. This will enable Lotus Bakeries to accommodate all waffle and galettes production in one large and efficient production facility. This intention means that the Group will have to proceed with the collective dismissal of 66 workers and five employees.
Given the decision not to rebuild the Meise site, management is evidently prepared to negotiate on social support measures. The company is thinking here in first instance about re-employment within the Lotus Bakeries Group. There are currently 36 vacancies in Lembeke, seven vacancies in Oostakker and, if capacity is increased in Courcelles, this will create 38 jobs there. For this, management would be willing to agree on transitional measures. Meanwhile the information and consultation procedure has started with employee representatives (Image: pexels.com).