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Bega Cheese to cut 74 jobs as it consolidates processed cheese production

Bega Cheese will cut 74 jobs at its Ridge Street factory in the Bega Valley as part of a decision to move part of its processed cheese production to Victoria.

The move follows a review of Bega’s processed cheese capacity at Ridge Street in Bega and Strathmerton in Victoria.

Bega Cheese CEO Paul van Heerwaarden said the decision to consolidate some processed cheese capacity will see 74 positions made redundant by December.

“Voluntary site wide redundancies will be offered meaning that some processed cheese staff may elect to take the redundancy and there maybe opportunities for processed cheese staff to retrain for other roles within Bega Cheese,” Heerwaarden said.

Executive chairman Barry Irvin told ABC that the move was a strategic one to rationalise production.

“The situation isn’t related to the pandemic, it’s related to our processing cheese factory,” he said.

“Anyone who goes to the supermarket these days will see that consumers are buying natural cheese slices not processed cheese slices … it’s a shrinking market.”

Bega Cheese employs over 600 staff at its facilities in the Bega Valley, which was hit hard during the bushfires earlier this year.

In February last year, Bega Cheese announced the immediate closure of its Coburg factory in Melbourne, resulting in 50 redundancies.

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