Vandals cause juicy end

National Foods says a review of operations in the wake of a vandalism attack in August will mean 57 redundancies at its Berri juice factory.

That is almost half its Riverland staff in South Australia. Corporate affairs manager Geoff Lynch says it was decided not to resume production of long-life juice.

Mr Lynch says production of chilled juice is also under review but will continue for now. He says the jobs lost are spread across the manufacturing and packaging production areas.

“Our focus now is to try to manage that the best way that we possibly can for employees,” he said.

“We’ll be offering voluntary redundancies as a first option to see how many jobs we can take care of in that fashion.

“Some will be going almost immediately, others will probably take a couple of weeks to process.”

Future Chief executive of the Riverland Development Corporation Ken Smith says he is concerned for the future of National Foods in the Riverland. He hopes the remaining chilled juice operations will not be moved interstate.

“We do research investment opportunities for our region to bring in new business to create employment, but what we sometimes lose sight of is the companies that are established here that maybe don’t necessarily need to be in the Riverland so we need to make sure we work hard to support those companies,” he said.

“I don’t like to predict what’s going to happen to National Foods but certainly, I mean, any review of that type is concerning to us.”

Vandals emptied thousands of litres of juice from vats at the National Foods factory, disrupting production and costing the company about $500,000.

Source: ABC

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