Australian dairy processor Murray Goulburn has pointed to a fall in global milk prices for its decision to cut over 300 jobs.

The company plans to axe 301 posts, including processing and head office jobs, to cut costs and improve productivity. The co-op also insisted the cuts would help it pay higher farm-gate prices for its milk.

“The change programme embarked on by Murray Goulburn is even more critical given the recent significant decline in world market prices due to higher global milk supply. This initiative will help reduce the impact of falling world prices and a high Australian dollar on our supplier/shareholders,” MD Gary Helou said.

“These are difficult but necessary decisions to ensure that Murray Goulburn can remain competitive. It is in the interests of our suppliers, shareholders, employees, communities and customers that MG remains a strong business into the future.”

Helou added Murray Goulburn would continue to invest in initiatives to “significantly lower our operating costs, improve manufacturing efficiencies and strengthen our dairy foods portfolio”. Its processing sites will remain open.