Australia's largest milk processor to close factories

Almost 400 jobs to go in milk factory shutdowns

AUSTRALIA'S largest milk processor Murray Goulburn has announced it will shut three factories, two in Victoria, costing about 360 jobs.

It comes just days after the ACCC ruled Murray Goulburn's decision to slash farmgate prices last year breached consumer law, slamming the milk giant for allegedly engaging in "unconscionable conduct'' and misleading its suppliers.

The co-operative this morning announced it will shut the Rochester and Kiewa factories in Victoria and the Edith Creek factory in Tasmania.

The co-operative said about 360 jobs would be lost in the closures over the next 18 months.

It will save up to $50 million.

The co-operative will also scrap the controversial Milk Supply Support Package, introduced last year to claw back overpayments to suppliers.

Last year's dairy crisis sent Victoria's industry into free fall when Murray Goulburn slashed farmgate prices to $5, despite earlier predictions farmers would get more than $6.

It resulted in nationwide backlash as hundreds of farmers hit the wall and federal and state governments swooped to offer assistance grants.


News Corp Australia

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