29 Oct 2013

Australian vegetable processor cuts jobs

1:58 pm on 29 October 2013

The last of Australia's big vegetable processing companies has slashed its workforce in New South Wales and Tasmania after automating its processing lines.

The Simplot directors say the company still may not survive unless Australians start buying more home-grown produce.

Simplot Australia managing director Terry O'Brien said about 110 of the 170 permanent jobs at Bathhurst in New South Wales will go.

"At Devonport they have roughly the same number of permanent employees, about 160, but they have a much bigger casual workforce that comes and goes and our plan would be to bring that down as low as possible to maybe in the tens or twenties," he told the ABC.

Growers will not be directly affected with both plants remaining open and quotas stable for three years.