National Foods runs out of juice

National Foods says it will wind down production at its juice factory at Berri in the South Australian Riverland. Production will end by the middle of next year, resulting in a loss of 64 jobs.

A review of operations was announced back in June and the factory suffered millions of dollars’ damage during a break-in last August. The company says the closure will not hurt growers as it will keep using fruit from the Riverland.

Operations manager Tony Owen says all National Foods manufacturing sites have been reviewed. “Today’s announcement is about helping to ensure our juice products remain affordable,” he said.

“It will be a staged exit. We’ll see the first stages early in the year around February, March, with the remainder happening in May to June.” He says most of the company’s market is on the eastern seaboard and Riverland fruit supplies have been declining, affecting the long-term viability of the operation in SA. Dozens of jobs went last year when some of the manufacturing was moved to the eastern states.

The company promises workers affected by the impending closure in SA will get their full entitlements and says it will look at relocation options for them. SA Employment Minister Michael O’Brien says training support will be offered to the affected workers.

Source: ABC

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