Goodman Fielder’s major restructuring strategy; cuts 200 jobs

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Australian bakery giant Goodman Fielder is investing over $650m in the next three years in a restructuring and consolidation programme across its markets. Pic: Goodman Fielder
Australian bakery giant Goodman Fielder is investing over $650m in the next three years in a restructuring and consolidation programme across its markets. Pic: Goodman Fielder

Related tags Goodman fielder Investment Papua new guinea

More than 200 jobs could be lost under restructuring plans by the Australian bakery giant.

Goodman Fielder, headquartered in Sydney, with numerous production sites across Australia, has announced that it is looking to consolidate, establishing fewer and larger baking sites.

The manufacturer of the Wonder White, Mighty Soft, Helga’s and Meadow Lea brands said 75 employees from the Malaga, Perth, site and another 140 production roles from its two sites in Queensland could be made redundant.

However, it anticipates relocations of its facilities that will generate more than 60 new positions.

Sustainable strategy for the long term

Scott Weitemeyr

According to CEO Scott Weitemeyr, Goodman Fielder is consolidating its manufacturing network and investing in larger capacity sites to create a more sustainable business for the long term.

It plans to invest in selected sites, relocate and close others to build a more sustainable business.

The announcement, a company spokesperson told BakeryAndSnacks, continues Goodman Fielder’s commitment to invest over $650m between 2016-2019.

The capital investment will be spread across Goodman Fielder’s markets -  which includes Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Asia  - and across all categories. However, approximately $200m will be earmarked for Australia, primarily for the baking business.

Changes on the ground

The bakery at Malaga is expected to close on May 1, 2017. As such, the spokesperson told this site that Goodman Fielder has entered into a commercial supply agreement with George Weston Foods for the manufacture and supply of its products and brands in the Western Australia region.

He added that the new partnership will not change current supermarket supply arrangements in the area.

Further changes involve relocating the company’s Carina bakery to its Burleigh Head facility, and moving its garlic bread production from Hemmant to its Moorebank bakery in New South Wales.

The Carina and Hemmant sites are expected to cease manufacturing in the second half of 2017.

The existing 21,000 m2​ Burleigh Heads facility will be expanded to cope with increased production as well as to incorporate a large number of the new 60-plus jobs created by the company.

Supporting employees through the transition

The spokesperson also confirmed that consultations between the company and its employees will continue until early February, when a permanent decision will be made about redundancies and relocations.

He told us that all impacted employees “will receive their full entitlements, as well as employee assistance and career and outplacement support”.

Julie Coates

Managing director Julie Coates stated the company is prioritising the needs of those affected by the changes.

“We understand the impact these announcements have on our people and our immediate priority is to ensure that they are supported through this process,” ​she said.

Goodman Fielder’s origins extend back to 1909 when Geo Fielder & Co was incorporated in NSW. The company has subsequently been through a number of restructurings, acquisitions and mergers in the past century, but maintains its core business in Australia’s bakery sector.

“The increased investment we are planning across a number of our sites will strengthen our baking business, providing a more competitive and sustainable platform for the future,”​ concluded Coates.

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