Food giant Heinz is relocating an Australian tomato sauce operation to New Zealand.

It is closing the Girgarre factory east of Shepparton in northern Victoria on Friday, with the loss of 146 jobs and affecting three tomato growers, NewstalkZB reported.

The closure was announced in May but workers got their notice just before Christmas.

Heinz Australia spokesman Mike Robinson said the cost of making the factory competitive was too high.

About 150 workers lost their jobs in the same area in September when SPC Ardmona closed a fruit cannery.

The sauces sold in Australia will now be processed in New Zealand, mainly from American and Portuguese tomato pastes.

The move sees no Heinz sauces or ketchups being produced in Australia.