Fonterra closure: Dairy firm to close Victorian plant, 100 jobs misplaced

Dairy firm Fonterra will shut its western Victorian manufacturing unit, shedding almost 100 jobs.

The New Zealand-based processor says its Dennington plant, opened in 1911, is now not viable and might be shut down later this 12 months.

“The Australian ingredients business continues to feel the impact of the drought and other significant changes that mean there is excess manufacturing capacity in the Australian dairy industry,” Fonterra boss Miles Hurrell stated in an announcement on Thursday.

“This isn’t a one-off for this season, it’s the brand new norm for the Australian dairy trade and we have to adapt.

“With the decreased milk pool in Australia, we should put it into our highest returning merchandise and best property. Dennington is over 100 years previous and never viable.”

Digital camera IconThe Fonterra plant at Dennington.Image: Information Restricted

The corporate informed employees concerning the closure on Wednesday, and in an announcement to exploit suppliers reportedly outlined a November closure date.

Mr Hurrell stated Fonterra’s prime precedence was to assist its 98 workers on the Dennington plant.

The Nationwide Union of Employees hopes a few of them might be redeployed to a different Fonterra web site at Cobden, about an hour east.

“There’s 1900 people that live in Dennington. So 100 people in that area is absolutely devastating,” the union’s Neil Smith informed AAP.

“Really well-paid, long-term jobs, gone.”

The union hopes to satisfy with the corporate this week.

Mr Smith stated operations on the plant had modified since farm-gate milk costs took successful in recent times.

“It’s been very quiet down there … This is a product of their own doing. Back in 2017 Murray Goulburn and Fonterra did a big claw back on the farmers,” he stated.

“Dairy farmers are leaving the industry … and there’s just not enough milk supply.”

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