The mid-January fire that destroyed an Ingham poultry processing plant in Australia’s Victoria state has left 600 workers wondering about the future.

Ingham has pledged to continue paying plant employees for five more weeks, but will take at least a month to decide whether to build a new plant in the area, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.


The destroyed plant had processed 120,000 birds a day, meeting about a third of the state’s poultry needs. Ingham has temporarily relocated about 200 of the plant’s workers to other facilities around the state–both its own and those of competitors–so it can meet its obligations to farmers and prevent a shortage in the market.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.