Australia’s Burns Philps said four bakeries acquired via the merger with Goodman Fielder are to close within the next month.

Employees had expected rationalisation and were wondering where the axe would fall first. Now they know – a bakery at Broken Hill closed today [Thursday]. Three other bakeries – at Geraldton and Kalgoorlie in Western Australia and Mount Gambier in South Australia – will cease production from 16 May.

“In each of these regional areas, depots will be established to ensure that there is no impact on supply to customers and consumers,” Burns Philp said. The company hopes to transfer current employees to new jobs in the depots.

The manufacturing review of Goodman’s business will continue over coming months and will focus on better aligning capacity and demand across all baking sites, it said.

The company is listed in Australia and New Zealand, and is controlled by New Zealand businessman Graeme Hart. Prior to the protracted A$2bn (US$1.2bn) acquisition of Goodman, Burns Philp concentrated largely on the yeast and spice markets.

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