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AFFCO may close plant, send casings directly overseas

Friday 15th August 2008

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AFFCO Holdings, the North Island meat company that trades on the NZX, plans to close an unprofitable casings plant at Wiri in South Auckland and send the product overseas unprocessed.

The company is in talks with workers and unions about the closure, with final details to be released on August 29. Returns on casings used in the sausage industry are higher for product exported directly, it said.

AFFCO has attempted to diversify its investments to reduce dependence on meat processing, which has suffered from a lack of available livestock, prompting rivals such as Silver Fern Farms to close plants and cut jobs.

The Wiri plant has 20 full-time and 15-20 seasonal workers.

Shares of AFFCO last traded at 60 cents and has soared 80% this year.

By Jonathan Underhill

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