AUSTRALIA - Poultry giant Inghams is to close its McLaren Vale turkey factory.
Inghams made the decision to relocate its turkey processing to two existing New South Wales' factories, cutting or relocating 79 jobs from South Australia, reports ABC.
The relocation leaves seven South Australian farms - currently contracted to produce 4,000 turkeys a week for Inghams - without contracts.
McLaren Vale farmer Laura Fel says the company will continue to pay the farmers for six months.
"It's very bad news for us. Our livelihoods are tied up in turkey production, but it's a decision that the company has made and we now need to think about what that means for us," she said.
Ms Fel says the announcement wasn't entirely a surprise to the farmers.
"To the company's credit, they had flagged in advance that it was a possibility (that they would close the SA factory).
"While most of the growers are wrestling with the news that this really is it, we have an opportunity now to think about what it means and how each farm goes from here."
In a statement, Peter van Vliet from Inghams says it will be up to each farmer to decide what happens next.
"This difficult decision to redirect turkey volumes to other processing sites that enable us to process turkey more efficiently and competitively means Inghams will have no further need for the seven turkey farms in the area.
"There may be some opportunities with other processors and/or layers, and Inghams is facilitating contact between growers and alternative processors and/or layers and will assist in the transition should they be successful in securing alternative contracts."
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