Goodman Fielder bread
Goodman Fielder plans to close three baking plants.

NORTH SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA— Goodman Fielder on Jan. 17 unveiled widespread changes to its baking business, including plans to close three baking plants. The efforts are part of the company’s strategy to optimize its network to compete effectively across Australia.

Scott Weitemeyer, chief executive officer, said the company plans to invest in selected sites, relocate and close others to build a more sustainable business.

Scott Weitemeyer, Goodman Fielder
Scott Weitemeyer, c.e.o. of Goodman Fielder

“Today’s announcements continue Goodman Fielder’s investment commitment across all of its markets with over $650 million being planned between 2016-2019, of which approximately $200 million will be in Australia,” Mr. Weitemeyer said.

In Malaga, Perth, Goodman Fielder said it has entered into a commercial supply agreement with a third party for the manufacture of its products and brands for the Western Australia region.  The company said it will stop operations at its Malaga bakery on May 1, but it anticipates customers and consumers across the region will continue to receive daily fresh deliveries of all Goodman Fielder products through the third-party supply agreement. The bakery closing will affect about 75 employees.

In Queensland, Goodman Fielder said it has begun talks with its employees regarding proposals to relocate production from its Carina bakery to its Burleigh Heads facility and relocate production of garlic bread from its Hemmant site to its Moorebank bakery in New South Wales. If the company follows through with the plans, the Carina and Hemmant bakeries would be shuttered by the second half of 2017, eliminating about 140 production roles, Goodman Fielder said.

Fa Famiglia garlic bread, Goodman Fielder
Goodman Fielder plans to invest in selected sites, relocate and close others to build a more sustainable business.

The consolidation of garlic bread production also would result in the transfer of Erskine Park garlic bread manufacturing to Moorebank, the company noted.

Goodman Fielder did indicate that it expects to add more than 60 new jobs at the Burleigh Heads, Moorebank and Canberra facilities to accommodate increased production capacity at the sites.

Julie Coates, Goodman Fielder
Julie Coates, managing director for Goodman Fielder Australia

“Today’s announcement is part of our group-wide strategy to generate efficiencies across our baking network,” said Julie Coates, managing director, Goodman Fielder Australia. “We are consolidating our manufacturing network and investing in larger capacity sites to create a more sustainable business for the long term. We understand the impact these announcements have on our people, and our immediate priority is to ensure that they are supported through this process.

“We remain committed to our customers and consumers in each of the impacted areas and our plans are focused on ensuring they continue to receive daily fresh deliveries from Goodman Fielder.

“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.”