Shake-up aims to "create more sustainable business for  longer term"

Shake-up aims to "create more sustainable business for longer term"

Australia-based food group Goodman Fielder today (8 June) announced proposals for a shake-up of its operations in New Zealand, including the closure of two bakery sites and investment in other facilities.

The proposals come five months after Goodman Fielder, which is owned by Singapore agri-food giant Wilmar International, said changes to its baking business across Australia were expected to lead to more than 200 redundancies.

In New Zealand, Goodman Fielder proposes closing its Irvines and Hot Plate bakeries on the country's North Island in around April 2018. The changes are designed to "expand our regional operations and ultimately create a more sustainable and competitive platform for the future of our business", the group said.

Goodman Fielder is planning to relocate pies production from its Irvines facility at Wiri – and ice cream cones from its Hot Plate bakery in East Tamaki – to its Palmerston North facility in the southwest of North Island, creating more than 60 jobs in the region.

The company also proposes relocating the production of garlic bread and other baked goods from Hot Plate to its larger site – Quality Bakers in Auckland – creating 25 permanent jobs.

In a related move, Goodman Fielder is proposing "significant capital investments to increase efficiencies" at Quality Bakers and its Meadow Fresh site in Christchurch, on the country's South Island.

Tim Deane, the managing director of Goodman Fielder's operations in New Zealand, said: "These proposals continue the NZD80m (US$57.6m) investment we have made in the company since 2015 and are part of our planned additional investment of nearly NZD150m as we continue to create a more sustainable business for the longer term."

Deane said the group is "working directly with the 147 employees impacted by these proposals". Employees affected by the proposed changes will, where possible, be offered redeployments to other Goodman Fielder sites, Deane said.