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Support being offered after Fairton closes

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 31/05/2017

Silver Fern Farms confirmed the closure of the company's sheepmeat plant near Ashburton on Wednesday, putting 370 people out of work.

Workers at the Fairton plant were told earlier in May there would be a two-week consultation period before the closure was finalised.

Silver Ferns' chief executive Dean Hamilton said the large decline in the sheep population due to land use changes in the past decade had led to the decision to close the plant.

"We will be paying redundancy to all affected staff," he said.

"In addition, we have 230 roles available for them at our other sites, should they wish to take them up."

Mr Hamilton said Silver Fern Farms would continue to operate its pelt house operation from the site, which services its three other sheepmeat plants in the South Island.

He said no other decisions had been made with respect to the rest of the site, but "we have absolutely no intention of bottling water as has been speculated on without basis by some parties".

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