Australian dairy business National Foods is to cut long-life juice production at its Riverland site, a move that will lead to the loss of 34 jobs.

Arthur Murphy, National Foods' group executive, manufacturing operations, said the economic downturn and surplus manufacturing capacity meant the cuts were needed.

"For National Foods to remain competitive and sustainable over the longer term, it's imperative that we continually review and, where necessary, reconfigure our manufacturing network to best match the external environment taking into account factors such as raw material sourcing and distance to market," Murphy said.

The Riverland site, which employs 175 people, will remain open. Murphy said the facility was "very important" to National Foods and the "heritage" of the firm's fruit juice business.

Last month, National Foods sold a clutch of fresh milk assets in Australia to Italian dairy giant Parmalat.