Sector News

Goodman Fielder announces more than 200 redundancies

January 18, 2017
Food & Drink

Food manufacturer Goodman Fielder has announced more than 200 redundancies as its Asian-based owners reshape the baking business two years after taking control of the operation.

The current owners, Singapore’s Wilmar International and Hong Kong’s First Pacific, delisted the household Australian name from the ASX in early 2015 after winning the support of investors for a $1.3 billion takeover.

The owner of brands such as Helga’s and WonderWhite bread has since been operating largely out of the public limelight, aside from the closure of its Tamworth bakery at the expense of 30 jobs.

A restructure plan for the bakery arm gathered momentum today with news Goodman Fielder was set to consolidate its local operations.

In a statement, the manufacturer said the shake-up would affect its operations in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT.

Among the biggest changes is a proposed relocation of production from its Carina bakery to its Burleigh Heads facility as well as a push to shift production of garlic bread from its Hemmant site in Brisbane to Moorebank in New South Wales.

The two proposals are expected to make 140 jobs redundant, with expectations the Carina and Hemmant bakeries will cease manufacturing in the second half of this year.

In Western Australia, a new manufacturing supply agreement with a third party will result in the closure of the Malaga bakery on May 1 this year and force 75 current employees out of a job.

However, the 215 job cuts will be partially offset by an increase of around 60 positions at the Burleigh Heads, Moorebank and Canberra facilities as production at those sites is ramped up.

“Today’s announcement is part of our group-wide strategy to generate efficiencies across our baking network,” Goodman Fielder Australia managing director Julie Coates said.

“We are consolidating our manufacturing network and investing in larger capacity sites to create a more sustainable business for the long term.

“We understand the impact these announcements have on our people and our immediate priority is to ensure that they are supported through this process.”

By Daniel Palmer

Source: The Australian

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