8 Jan 2014

Meat plant sale puts jobs at risk

9:32 pm on 8 January 2014

Goodman Fielder plans to sell its meat-processing plant in Hamilton in a move that could put scores of people out of work.

The plant employs 125 people and specialises in products like bacon, ham and sausages.

The Australasian food giant intends to sell the plant to Hellers, which has sites in Auckland and Christchurch.

Goodman Fielder chief executive Chris Delaney said on Wednesday the move is a reflection of poor trading and market conditions, and meat products are not a core part of business.

The company says the sale should be completed by the end of March this year and workers who cannot be re-deployed will be given redundancy.

Its managing director in New Zealand, Peter Reidie, said the company has a good record of looking after its workers.

"Obviously, there's a reasonable shock factor. We have a lot of long-term grade employees at the Frankton site and they've clearly been keen to stay part of that site, and we're proposing a significant change in that regard. But we are confident we'll work through good outcomes for our people."

Goodman Fielder also wants to sell its small pizza business and is talking with nine staff in Auckland.

The company expects to make up to $17 million from the sales.