Major French Food Company Shuts Down 80 Per Cent of Production as Soaring Energy Costs Make Factories Uneconomical

An employee works at the French agri-food company William Saurin factory on December 20, 2
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Cofigeo, a group which owns several food companies in France, has shut down four of its eight factories over energy costs, amounting to 80 per cent of its total production.

Cofigeo owns several French food brands including William Saurin, Garbit and Raynal and Roquelaure and has announced it has shut down four of its eight French factories, affecting 800 of the company’s 1,200 workers due to soaring energy costs.

The move was initially made on December 6th but came into force on January 2nd and sees plants in Capdenac, Pouilly-sur-Serre, Camaret-sur-Aigues and Lagny closed and production halted, the newspaper Le Figaro reports.

“This decision aims to cope with the spectacular increase in its energy costs (gas and electricity necessary for cooking and sterilizing cooked dishes and recipes), which will be multiplied by 10 from the beginning of the year,” the group said in a statement this week.

The group warned that its energy costs were set to surge this year, with president Mathieu Thomazeau saying, “It will go overnight, from 4 million to 40 million euros.”

Cofigeo is the first major food producer to enact such radical measures to deal with the costs of energy but according to Le Figaro, other companies in the sector are also facing great difficulty adjusting to the rising prices of energy.

Last month, Perifem, a federation of French supermarket chains, warned that France could face major issues with food spoilage due to possible power outages and cuts, as many supermarkets would not have adequate time to prepare for outages.

“We have never experienced this situation… stores are very poorly equipped today with generators. We will not throw away frozen products that have for the most part more thermal inertia. On the other hand, for fresh products that do not last two hours, there will indeed be a significant waste,” general delegate of Perifem Franck Charton said.

A report from the UK newspaper The Times has claimed that France may be close to having to ration energy due to issues with the country’s nuclear power plants. President of France’s Energy Regulation Commission Emmanuelle Wargon stated that after January 15th the country will face a tense situation if a cold snap occurs.

Energy to cook and preserve food for canning or ready-meals is not the only place that energy security and food security intersect. As reported by Breitbart London in recent months, the sudden surge in energy prices has also impacted the production of fertiliser, which is an energy-intensive process requiring natural gas. Without ready access to modern fertilisers, the crop yields of European farms can be expected to collapse.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)



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