Ausveg Dismay At Smithton Vegetable Processing Plant Closure

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20th November 2009, 07:36pm - Views: 842






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20 November 2009

For immediate release

 


AUSVEG dismay at Smithton vegetable processing plant closure


AUSVEG Chief Executive Officer Richard Mulcahy today extended his deep sympathy

to the 115 workers and their families who will be made redundant as a result of

McCain’s decision to close its vegetable processing plant at Smithton next year. 


“McCain’s decision to close their vegetable processing plant will have massive

repercussions for the whole supply chain to the Smithton plant. Industry sources

suspect the flow on impact could affect three to four times the 115 people who will be

made redundant by this decision,” he said. 


AUSVEG is the national peak industry body representing the interests of Australian

vegetable and potato growers. 


“Australian growers and their families continue to get the raw end of the deal. They

are being squeezed to the brink of collapse by the flood of imported products,” he

said. 


McCain Foods announced today that it will close its vegetable processing plant at

Smithton in Tasmania's north-west in November 2010.


“Australian companies are increasingly going to try and import products from overseas

due to the strong value of the Australian dollar. Growers are already hurting from

rising input costs,” he said.

“Australian processing companies are continuing to move towards packaging rather

than growing produce. This is a major food security concern for Australians. If this

process continues Australian consumers will eventually be unable to buy Australian

grown produce in supermarkets.” 


“The industry has seen this coming for years, yet there is no evidence of government

intervention. Hopefully this plant closure will be a wakeup call.” 


“As the peak industry body for the vegetable industry representing the interests of

Australian growers, AUSVEG was not consulted in relation to this plant closure,” he

said.


ENDS


MEDIA CONTACT:  Hugh Tobin, Communications Manager, AUSVEG

Phone: (03) 9544 8098, Mobile: 0431 939 920, Email: hugh.tobin@ausveg.com.au




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