Alliance Group has announced it is set to shut its Sockburn plant in Christchurch at the end of the 2012 processing season, putting 250 jobs at risk.

The company said the plant was not profitable and it proposed to transfer processing of beef and venison from this plant to its other South Island operations.

Alliance Group's chief executive Grant Cuff said the company would be offering staff the opportunity to transfer to jobs at other plants where practicable.

Redundancy would be offered for those not wishing to transfer, or where there was no job available, he said.

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The company's plants in Mataura, Pukeuri near Oamaru and Smithfield in Timaru would be expanded to cope with the increased capacity.

Cufff said there was no connection between the Christchurch earthquakes and the proposal to close the Sockburn plant.

Consultation with staff is expected to take four weeks.

"Many employees are now making decisions about their future and its important they are informed of the company's proposal as early as possible."


- NZ HERALD ONLINE