Last month the US-based food and beverage giant announced a disappointing set of yearly financial results, which in turn have led to a number of plant closures and job cuts in an effort to trim down its global workforce and cut costs.
The company says that it wants to cut back some 6,000 of its employees, accounting for 6 per cent of its global workforce. The move has sent an unnerving message out to Kraft employees around the world. However, the Romanian division has bucked the trend for cutbacks by confirming further investments in its workforce there.
"We have invested over $20 million in this plant and we will keep investing. We have experienced both favourable and less favourable years in Romania, but we are generally pleased with the results," said Stephan Warley, general manager of Kraft Foods Romania.
Kraft Foods started up in the Romanian market ten years ago, after it bought a major processing plant at Brasov from the sugar products company Poiana Produse Zaharoase. Now the company claims that its total sales have amounted to more than 100,000 tons worth of products, valued at some $400 million.
The main markets for Kraft Foods Romania have proved to be packaged coffee and chocolate. However, the company admits that sales of these products have dropped off in recent years as customers have opted for cheaper local brand products.
Following the global trend of the parent company, the Romanian division has had to battle against slumping sales to remain competitive. Currently its 750 employees have been working to try and remain competitive in the market, a fact that the company has pledged to reward with a $600,000 investment in staff training in the year ahead.
Kraft Foods Romania's portfolio includes a number of leading brands in the European food and beverage market, with chocolate brands such as Africana, Poiana, Suchardine, Smash, Milka, Toblerone, sweets such as Sugus, Silvana and Yam-Yam and the two leading coffee brands: Jacobs and Nova Brasilia.