13 Jul 2012

Jobs lost as meat processor closes

6:06 am on 13 July 2012

A union says 55 jobs have been at a Lower Hutt meat processing company which has suddenly closed.

The Engineering Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) says Goulds Fine Foods in Petone stopped operations on Wednesday and is in the process of appointing a receiver.

The union says the closure has come as a shock to workers, some of whom have been with the company for 40 years.

Goulds began trading as a butchers shop in the early 1950s and later expanded to a factory in Lower Hutt in 1993, employing more than 100 staff.

The union says the company has been struggling financially in recent years although management had been optimistic it could trade its way out of trouble.

The EPMU says it is working to make sure the receivers honour redundancy agreements.

The Meat Processors Association, which represents the country's small goods and processed meat manufacturers, says it's not indicative of an industry-wide problem.

The industry is competitive and margins are always tight and some large and small businesses are doing well and others not so well, it says.