Tuesday, 22 March 2011 11:24

National Foods closes cheese sites

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National Foods will sell its cheese processing plants in South Australia and close its two Victorian plants within three years.  The moves were announced as part of a $132 million investment in Tasmania, aimed at rationalising the company’s cheese making business.

 

In South Australia, 103 people will be transitioned to another manufacturer following the sale of the Murray Bridge and Jervois sites to another interested party.

Over the next three years the Simpson and Campbellfield sites in Victoria will be wound down and closed.  This will affect 133 of our people in Victoria.

The Kings Meadows site in Tasmania will be closed within three years, affecting 40 roles. Operations at Heidi Farm will be transferred to the Burnie site in Tasmania.

National Foods will continue to manufacture products under the King Island brand on King Island and will invest $12 million to ensure this capability.

The Malanda site in North Queensland will continue to produce mozzarella cheese in an effort to utilise milk from suppliers in Far North Queensland.

National Foods’ Managing Director Andrew Reeves says the review was driven by the need to develop a long term sustainable business model based on modern and market leading manufacturing practices.

Reeves said the review concluded it was not sustainable for National Foods to operate multiple manufacturing sites and that investment in world class manufacturing should be focused.

As a result, all specialty cheese manufacture, other than King Island brands, will be consolidated into a single site, preferably to be located in Burnie, Tasmania.

As part of its planned $120 million investment in the Burnie site, National Foods intends the site to have a 25,000 tonne cheese making capacity per annum which requires an additional 10,000m2 building expansion.

Reeves said it was unfortunate that sites have been earmarked for closure as a result of the review and that the company would work closely with its affected people.

“Many site closures will not be taking place for two to three years, providing our people as much time as possible to consider their future plans.”

 

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