MURRAY Goulburn’s Koroit factory is the only Victorian site to escape another round of job cuts by the co-operative.
The company yesterday announced that 54 jobs would go as part of its ongoing efficiency drive.
Leongatha will cop the brunt of the cuts, with 23 jobs to go. The small factory at Kiewa will lose 13 jobs, Maffra will lose 11, while Cobram will lose four positions and Rochester three.
The losses at Cobram come despite the factory receiving a $93 million investment as part of a $127 million company-wide expansion officially announced last week.
Koroit received $19 million of that investment to build a facility for producing infant nutritional milk powder, aimed at the Asian market.
Edith Creek in Tasmania was the only other factory to escape the latest round of cuts. It also received part of the investment, with $14 million to be spent on a milk beverage plant.
Announcing the Koroit investment last week, managing director Gary Helou said it would not create any new jobs at the factory.
“It will probably sustain and secure existing jobs,” Mr Helou said.
In a letter to suppliers Mr Helou said the co-operative’s primary goal was to deliver a sustainable increase in the farmgate milk price by delivering operational excellence and innovation.
“We continually review our operations to improve efficiency, productivity and cost competitiveness, including investing in new technologies, redesigning workflow and work patterns, improving line efficiencies and cross-skilling,” he wrote.
“These difficult changes are necessary as it is in the best interest of all our supplier/shareholders, staff, communities, customers and consumers that we are a strong, viable business, able to compete globally and deliver higher farmgate prices.”
Jobs have been slashed across the Murray Goulburn sites since Mr Helou took over the reins in 2011, including about 30 jobs at Koroit in the first round, followed by garage and maintenance staff.
Murray Goulburn could not be contacted yesterday.