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Closure Of Te Kauwhata and Windward Operations

PPCS Confirms Closure Of Te Kauwhata and Windward Operations

PPCS today confirmed that the proposed closures of its Te Kauwhata venison processing facility and its Balclutha-based Windward finished lambskin manufacturing would proceed.

Chief Executive Officer Keith Cooper said that decision was finalised following the conclusion of a consultation process with employees and their representatives.

He reiterated that the decision to close the plants was no reflection on the commitment and skill of the people working at the plants.

“The plant closures are part of the company’s strategic change process for 2008 which will see PPCS align the company’s processing capacity to the current livestock profile and exit non-core businesses.

“The closure of Te Kauwhata reflects a trend of significant decline in national deer numbers. The closure of Windward reflects the fact that processing lambskins into finished products is no longer economic in the face of intense competition from lowcost countries and a worldwide drop in revenues,” he said.

The 25 employees at the Windward lambskin manufacturing operations will be offered positions at PPCS’ Finegand processing facility in Balclutha.

“We are pleased we are able to provide ongoing employment for our people at our neighbouring processing facility,” said Mr Cooper.

PPCS expects production at the Windward tannery to cease by the end of November and production at its Windward finishing factory to continue until remaining orders are completed some time early next year.

“A sale of the Windward brand to a New Zealand company is pending. The potential buyer plans to continue supply of Windward brand products to existing customers. In the interim, PPCS will continue sales from its Windward factory.

“The sale of the Windward brand as a going concern will ensure that existing customers can continue to purchase Windward-branded products from the new owners,” he said.

The 35 positions at Te Kauwhata are being made redundant and employees will accordingly receive redundancy entitlements.

Mr Cooper said: “We will be supporting our employees during the transition period over the coming weeks. A resource centre will be set up on-site from tomorrow where employees can receive assistance in employment search and access a range of support services.

“We will help find alternative employment for Te Kauwhata employees at our other processing facilities and will also liaise with other local employers to assist our people to find alternative work within the area,” he said.

The last day of deer processing at Te Kauwhata will be Friday 14 December, after which PPCS will process North Island deer at its Rotorua facility.

Mr Cooper said that PPCS’ North Island deer suppliers can be assured that sufficient capacity exists at PPCS’ Rotorua facility to meet their processing requirements.


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