After several months of speculation, Murray Goulburn Co-operative has announced it will close its Rochester milk processing plant.
The staged closure is expected to start in August, throwing more than 100 people out of work by the time it winds up next year.
The announcement was made following an operational review implemented by the company in order to cut costs.
The company has also announced it will “forgive” the money it was asking suppliers to pay back under its milk supply support program, following drastic cuts to milk prices a year ago.
Factories at Edith Creek in Tasmania and Kiewa in north eastern Victoria, will also be closed.
The company is forecasting a 2017 financial year farmgate milk price of $4.95/kg.
Murray Goulburn chief executive Ari Mervis said the company was acutely aware of the impact that the decisions will have on their stakeholders, including the communities in which they operate.
“We are committed to ensuring that we provide our affected employees with appropriate levels of support and the recognition that they deserve during this period of transition.
“MG will support employees by providing access to career transition and redeployment services as well as working with Federal and relevant State Governments to leverage existing programs.’’