Brazil-based meat processor JBS has reportedly announced more than 230 of its workers in Australia are to lose their jobs.
Local media reports said JBS told 195 staff at an abbatoir in Victoria and 40 workers at a site in Tasmania they were being made redundant.
JBS reportedly blamed market conditions for the moves at the facilities in Cobram and Longford, which are to close.
Sam McConnell, a director for JBS’ Australian arm, told ABC radio a decision on the future of the plants would be made when lamb numbers improve.
In a statement, Jeremy Rockliff, Tasmania state Minister for Primary Industries and Water, said the closure of the Longford site was “very disappointing”.
“Tasmania has a strong livestock sector worth AUD400m (US$318.1m) and I understand this company decision is based on a number of factors including the previous drought that impacted on lamb numbers and reduced supply,” Rockliff said.