Simplot Australia will close one of Australia’s oldest vegetable processing plants at Scottsdale in northeast Tasmania.
The closure will see movement of its potato processing operations to Ulverstone in Tasmania’s northwest.
Simplot will spend at least A$30 million on a new processing line at Ulverstone along with a second french fry processing line. Total investment of the company will be A$80 million.
Simplot Australia Managing Director Terry O’Brien said new efficiencies are needed to keep the local industry competitive with low-cost exporters such as New Zealand and to help cap escalating costs.
This will mean an end to potato processing in December 2003. About 110 jobs will be lost. The older buildings and environmental problems simply mean processing is uneconomic, O’Brien said.
In 2004 Scottsdale will become a bulk receiving site for potatoes