The Freiburg milk processor Cremo is in trouble and has to close locations. But that’s not enough.
What is the problem? Cremo is the second largest milk processor in Switzerland after Emmi. And has been in the red for several years. In the 2022 financial year alone, the company based in Villars-sur-Glâne FR made a loss of 21.5 million francs, and equity shrank by 30 percent. “The financial situation is worrying,” says President Georges Godel.
What are the direct consequences? Cremo had to close the plant in Lucens VD at the end of May. Two years ago it hit a location in Steffisburg BE. Now a dairy in Lyss BE also has to close. A total of 43 employees are affected this year.
Does the company go bankrupt? The existence of the company with its 800 employees is not threatened, Godel continues. There are still reserves of over 100 million Swiss francs, with which the company should survive the next few years.
How should the turnaround succeed? On the one hand, Cremo wants to pull through an austerity program that should save over 20 million annually. Internal processes are to be improved, and no layoffs are planned, according to Cremo director Frédéric Métrailler on SRF. Cremo also wants to invest tens of millions in the next few years. Because many machines and systems are outdated, especially in cheese and butter production.
How much time is left? The savings program is scheduled to run for three years. Cremo wants to be in the black again by 2024. Then everything would be ready for a big party in 2027 – this year the milk processor is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
How did Cremo last make headlines? Just a few weeks ago, an outright cheese scam came to light. Email fraud allowed British scammers to Diversion of 32 tons of Gruyère and Emmental cheese and presumably for sale on the black market.
The Freiburg milk processor Cremo had sent the cheese to England in several truck deliveries in 2020. This in the belief that the hundreds of cheeses will go to the British luxury department store “Harrods” and another large supermarket chain.
Cremo targeted by hackers
In 2022, hackers stole data from Cremo and then blackmailed the company. According to reports, systems at several Cremo locations were affected by the ransomware attack. E-mails and access to orders or invoices were no longer available.
SRF1 regional journal Bern Freiburg Valais, June 6th, 2023, 5:30 p.m.; müla/chemo/sda; ledn