As part of a national strategy to expand capacity, upgrade capability and improve productivity across its network, Inghams Enterprises will cease production at its Cardiff processing plant in New South Wales by end of August 2016.

The company on June 8 advised its 199 employees and casual workforce of the closure, reassured them that all employee obligations will be met, and that it was committed to working closely with them to help them find and transition into new opportunities both within and outside the company.

This will include supporting them through facilitating redeployment to other sites where possible, providing resources for training, outplacement and counselling services, and facilitating engagement with relevant support agencies and community groups.

Ingham's CEO Mick McMahon said: “Cardiff has been an important part of the Inghams business for almost 40 years and we thank our very loyal workforce who have contributed greatly to our business during this time. Our major focus now is on working closely to assist our people through this transition period. We thought long and hard about this decision, recognizing the effects on our local workforce and the community. Ultimately, there was no alternative. The plant is simply not large enough and this has been compounded by recent reductions in volumes as capacity switched to larger more efficient plants elsewhere in the network.”

Company investing in more efficient plants

The decision to cease production at Cardiff follows a detailed review of Ingham’s national supply chain that has seen significant investment committed to larger more efficient processing plants interstate, with a consequent reduction in volumes processed through the Cardiff facility over recent times. A total of over AU$400 million (US$296 million) will be invested across the network by Inghams Enterprises and its supply partners to expand capacity and improve capability.

This investment is focused on Inghams’ South Australian and Queensland operations with smaller investments in Victoria and Western Australia. Investment is underway in all aspects of its integrated supply chain across breeder farms, hatcheries, feed mills and processing plants, resulting in the creation of hundreds of jobs in those states.

The company, in a press release, said this new investment is integral to Ingham’s strategy of building capacity to support growth and continuing to deliver the highest quality products and service to its customers, while remaining competitive as Australia and New Zealand’s largest integrated poultry producer in what is the fastest growing meat protein sector.