SunRice announces job losses

By Country News

SunRice has announced further changes to its Riverina manufacturing operations causing the loss of 35 full-time equivalent positions at its Deniliquin and Leeton mills across milling, packing, paddy, maintenance and warehousing operations.

SunRice chief executive officer Rob Gordon said drought, low general security water allocations and high temporary water prices continued to negatively impact the rice industry.

“We will have greater clarity on the expected crop for 2020 after the conclusion of planting later in 2019. We understand that these changes have been, and continue to be, very unsettling for our employees and we continue to remain committed to being open and transparent.”

The news comes after a review of SunRice's operations and the 2019 rice crop, which was the second-lowest on record.

SunRice has said it will aim to re-deploy as many employees as possible.The total number of jobs affected to date since November 2018 has reached 130 full-time equivalent positions.The changes will take place from November 15 and will impact Australian Grain Storage sites across the Riverina.SunRice released a statement saying it will continue operations at its Deniliquin and Leeton mills through 2020.

“Given the interest we have received, SunRice expects to receive a volume of rice which will allow some form of milling to continue at its operations in Deniliquin and Leeton.”