Betta Milk dairy factory closure, AWU working to save jobs

Tuesday, 20 February, 2024

Betta Milk dairy factory closure, AWU working to save jobs

Bega Group acquired Betta Milk from TasFoods in December 2023, along with another local brand Meander Valley Dairy.

Bega is now is planning to close the Betta Milk dairy processing factory in Burnie, North West Tasmania. The milk processing operations at the aging facility in Burnie will be moved to the dairy’s other facility in Lenah Valley, outside Hobart. Some jobs may be lost as a result of the restructure.

Robert Flanagan from the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU) said it was a big blow for dairy processing in North Western Tasmania.

“The union’s strong preference would have been for Bega to update their infrastructure rather than rationalising the factory out of existence in the way that it has,” Flanagan said.

“The Betta Milk operation has had a footprint in Burnie for 70 years and has been a part of the fabric of that community over those years so it’s devastating the factory will be closed.

“The workforce at Betta Milk has a very discrete skill set, and the union has held discussions ... following the announcement with Saputo, who have a factory in Burnie, and Fonterra, who have a factory in nearby Wynyard, to explore employment opportunities at their operations.

“Both companies have been supportive of seeing what they can do to place Betta Milk workers within their respective operations.

“The dairy sector is very discrete in what it does, these workers won’t need to be trained, they should readily adjust to the working environment of Saputo and Fonterra.

“The last thing we want to see is regional jobs lost altogether,” Flanagan said.

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