SFF meeting suggests plant going: Peters

Winston Peters
Winston Peters.
Holding  a  staff meeting at Silver Fern Farms’ Fairton plant next week suggests the plant may be axed,  New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says.

Mr Peters, who has been a vocal opponent of SFF’s joint venture with Chinese-owned Shanghai Maling, said staff at the Ashburton plant had been called to a meeting on Wednesday.

"Optimists might say this is about expansion, but realists will see this for what it is — either major retrenchment or outright closure," he said in a statement.

When approached for comment, a SFF spokesman confirmed staff had been called to a meeting.

NZ Meatworkers Union Canterbury branch secretary Bill Watt said the signs were "ominous".

He estimated there were about 350 staff at the plant.Mr Peters said the plant had been "subject to death by a thousand cuts".

Last June, its bobby calf operations were transferred to SFF’s Pareora plant near Timaru, while in November its No 2 chain was shut as Pareora’s expanded.

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