Goodman Fielders Hamilton meat plant to close

Goodman Fielder's Hamilton meat plant to close

Goodman Fielder has said it will attempt to minimise the job losses stemming from the sale of its New Zealand meat unit to sausage and bacon supplier Hellers.

The company confirmed it will push ahead with the sale yesterday (10 February), despite strong opposition from union and political quarters, with some backing for a counter-bid for the business.

Following the transaction, Hellers has indicated it will transfer processing activities from Goodman Fielder's site in Hamilton to plants in Christchurch and Auckland. 

Protests - including a petition organised by local Labour politicians - had emphasised the disposal would result in the loss of 125 jobs at the facility.

Speaking to just-food, a spokesperson for Goodman Fielder said that, although the site will close, the company hopes to minimise job losses.

"Affected employees will be provided the opportunity for redeployment to fill vacancies at other Goodman Fielder sites across New Zealand and at Hellers," the spokesperson stressed. "Employees who are not able to be redeployed will receive their full redundancy provisions as well as an employee assistance programme, outplacement programme and careers workshop."

The meats unit processes Brooks Deli continental meats and bacon, Hutton's luncheon, bacon and ham, Sizzlers pre-cooked small goods and Milano cooked continental meats in New Zealand.

When Goodman Fielder signalled its intention to sell the business, the group said the move came as part of a drive to rationalise its portfolio and focus on core activities, where it has "market-leading, profitable positions".