By James Karpienga | 12 February 2016, 11:24:01A major meat supplier is closing its Australian operation due to a rise in the price of meat due to climate change.SPC Ardmena (ASX:SBX) announced on Thursday that it will shut its Australian operations in the next year and will begin trading in 2019.
The Australian company is the second largest meat producer in Australia, and its chief executive, Peter Renton, said that “global warming will have an impact on Australia’s future”.
“We will have to be more selective in the way we deliver our products,” he said.
“In a short period of time, we’ll need to make some difficult decisions.”
Mr Renton said that SPC would have to reduce its Australian workforce by as much as 15 per cent from the current 350 staff to around 350, but that the decision was not necessarily based on a change in management or an increased demand for its products.
“We’ve made significant investments in the Australian supply chain and we’ve been able to do that in the short term but we have to see what the future holds,” he told ABC Radio National.
“The reality is that we need to be selective with our suppliers and that’s going to be the case for some time to come.”
I think that’s a pretty difficult time to be in Australia.
“Mr Sperling said the decision would have a significant impact on SPC’s operations in Australia.”
There are a lot of factors which will impact on the way our business operates here in Australia,” he explained.”
In the short run we’re not seeing a lot in the numbers but we are seeing a significant reduction in meat and fish prices in Australia due to rising global temperatures.
“He said SPC was working with the meat and poultry industry to improve its supply chain.”
As a result, we will be reducing our Australian operations and in 2019 we will have our operations in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and the Northern Territory,” he added.
The company is also working to develop new products and is working with a range of suppliers to deliver these to customers, he added, saying it would be difficult to make a definitive announcement on the future of the business.
The closure will affect about 5,500 workers, with more than 30,000 of those being employed in the meat industry.
Mr Spertles said the company was looking to hire additional staff to support its operations.”
With the recent reduction in staff and the continued reduction in production we will continue to need additional staff,” he revealed.”
Our current workforce of 350 has not changed since we last opened.
“This will have a material impact on our ability to meet our business objectives.”SPC’s future remains uncertain and we will seek to find a suitable replacement for this staff position.
“Sperling acknowledged that Sperlings business was changing.”
While there will be a significant number of changes to the business, Sperles will remain a very, very competitive meat company that will continue delivering quality, value and value for customers,” he stated.