Meat plant closing in 2012

Alliance Group's Sockburn meat-processing plant in Christchurch would close at the end of the 2012 processing season, affecting about 250 jobs, the company confirmed yesterday.

Employees were informed in September of the proposal and the final decision was made after a four-week consultation period with staff and unions.

The company will offer its employees the opportunity to transfer to other Alliance Group plants where practicable.

Employees would have several months to consider their options and make an informed decision, chief executive Grant Cuff said in a statement yesterday.

In September, Mr Cuff said the plant had not operated profitably in recent years and the company had explored various options to address that.

Beef processing will be transferred to the company's Mataura and Pukeuri plants, where capacity is being expanded, while venison processing will be transferred to a new facility to be built at the Smithfield plant in Timaru.

Alternative arrangements were being made with Ashburton Meat Processors to process pigs.


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