Freixenet Furloughs 615 Workers

The drop in production due to the small harvest has prompted the cava giant to take drastic measures.

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The headquarters of Freixenet in Catalonia.
The headquarters of Freixenet in Catalonia.

Just days after the presentation of record figures by the parent company Henkell Freixenet, the Spanish Cava giant Freixenet announces drastic measures - a significant portion of the workforce will be temporarily laid off. The reason is the extreme water shortage in the region. The company itself speaks of harvest quantities in Catalonia that have decreased by up to 45%, anticipating a deficit of 80 million bottles.

To cope with the shortage of raw materials, the company has applied for furlough - or the Spanish equivalent of temporary layoffs (ERTE) - for 615 employees at Freixenet S.A. and Segura Viudas S.A.U., which is set to take effect in May. According to El Mundo, this represents almost 80% of Freixenet's workforce.
Freixenet justifies the measure citing force majeure, as reported by El Economista. It is expected that the number of 615 workers represents the maximum, and there may be temporary fluctuations in the active workforce. The company has already initiated contacts with the Ministry of Business of the Catalan Government and forwarded the proposal to the unions. During the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021, Freixenet had already utilized ERTE measures.

"The planned furlough aims to preserve the affected jobs and guide the company through this crisis."

"The planned furlough aims to preserve the affected jobs and guide the company through this crisis. The duration and extent of the furlough will depend on further developments in the region," stated Henkell Freixenet.

„Given the fact that there is a booming worldwide demand for Cava and we cannot produce enough bottles to satisfy it in the short term, the situation is truly complex at all levels," explained Pedro Ferrer, Co-CEO of Freixenet to El Economista.

During ProWein, Henkell Freixenet had already emphasized how limited the available Cava quantities were due to the small harvests associated with years of drought. As a temporary replacement for the bestselling Carta Nevada, the company introduced an alternative for consumers. CG

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