Murray Goulburn aims premium margin segments, cuts 54 jobs  

Image credit: Flickr User: Producer Andrea Horvath

Australian dairy giant Murray Goulburn is set to chop further 54 jobs from its Victorian operations this week as part of the its restructure plan that started two years ago.

Image credit: Flickr User: Producer Andrea Horvath
Image credit: Flickr User: Producer Andrea Horvath

The cuts were announced just days after MG Senior Management visited its Cobram and Koroit plants to re-announce its $127 million capital investment in three “value-added” areas, including $74 million investment in consumer cheese at the Cobram facility targeting Australian and Asian consumers, $38 million in infant nutrition products destined for Asia at Koroit and Cobram, and $14 million in Dairy Beverages at Edith Creek, Tasmania.

According to the article on Stock and Land, 13 of the job cuts will be made at Kiewa, 4 at Cobram, 23 at Leongatha, 3 at Rochester and 11 at Maffra

The latest job cuts — of which the staff was informed last Friday — come as a direct result of changes to MG’s “operational processes and activities,” the company said in a letter to suppliers and shareholders.

MG’s Managing Director Gary Helou said during his visit at the Koroit plant last week that the company plans to shift the business focus from commodities to sales in higher margin segments.

“In particular, the growth markets of Asia,” he said. “That means connecting manufacturing facility and distribution chain directly to the Asian consumer, giving them what they want — customised food and a range of products that consumers in Asia want.”

Dairy Australia analysis manager Norman Repacholi said retail companies were increasingly looking to chase profitable products because of the pressure to have brands perform.

“Rather than having a wide variety, companies will pick their strongest brands and put more resources behind those so they are effectively trying to maximise their returns by picking winners,” he said.

Murray Goulburn chopped 427 staff across its operations since commencing its restructuring plan two years ago.