Zaharul, one of the most famous sugar factories in Romania, at Oradea, is closing. Germany-based Pfeifer & Langen that owned the unit failed to make it profitable. Also, the investors are leaving with the brand product, manufacturing “Diamant” sugar in Poland and Ukraine, digi24.ro informs.
200 employees will be laid off and the families of 93 farmers in Bihor, Arad, Satu Mare and Timis who had a contract with the company will have to refocus after spending tens of thousands of euros on the beet crop.
Beet growers wanted to associate and buy the factory, but the negotiations failed.
“By 2020, the sugar beet culture has a subsidy of over EUR 1,000 per hectare, and it was good to use it for this period, but if the owners have thought so, then we have nothing to do,” Alexandru Lucaks, President of the Northwest Cultivators Association stated.
Pfeifer & Langen decided to shut down Zaharul factory arguing the beet is more expensive in Romania than in Poland, for example.
German investor says the sugar factory as unprofitable because it buys the beet on the local market at a price of EUR 516, while the price per tonne in Germany and Poland is EUR 320. It would be best if the price drops to EUR 300, union representatives note.
On the other hand, the president of the Trade Unions Federation in the Food Industry Dragos Frumosu, said the losses of the factory in Oradea are made even by the German investors, ebihoreanul.ro informs.
“From September to January, the sugar produced in Oradea comes from the domestic beet production, and for another few months the factory processes raw sugar from Germany, which it is forced to buy at very high prices, above the market price. Thus, Zaharul factory was knowingly bankrupt and the profits exported to Germany,” Frumosu states.