The dairy products factory in Casale Cremasco will be closed by the middle of next year, a move blamed on a drop in consumer demand due to the financial crisis, the company said in a statement.
Danone, the producer of the yoghurt drinks Actimel and Activia, said the “painful decision” was made after several failed attempts to revive business, adding that it will work closely with unions to “minimize the impact on workers.”
The company,which has operated in Italy since 1966, also said the move would allow its Italian unit to "safeguard and strengthen its ability to respond, with speed, to the needs of consumers" and "will have no consequence on its presence in Italy or on the quality of its products."
Plans are also underway to close facilities in Germany and Budapest.
Italy’s unemployment rate hit 13.6 percent in the first three months of this year – 0.8 percent higher than in the same period in 2013 – while youth unemployment reached 46 percent.