Silver Fern Farms plans to upgrade its coldstore facilities at its Pareora site, in South Canterbury, and close its leased Canterbury Coldstore.

Silver Fern Farms Chief Executive Dean Hamilton says the achievements the company has made in inventory management has meant the company does not require as much cold storage as it has in the past and therefore it makes little sense to redevelop what are old facilities on the leased site when the company is redeveloping existing cold storage at its owned Pareora site.

“With the $5m redevelopment of our Pareora plant to accommodate new venison processing, which we announced last month, we will be upgrading our cold storage and blast freezer space. During the planning of this redevelopment it has become clear that we no longer require the storage space at Canterbury.”

The Canterbury Coldstore is on leased land which is part of the Belfast Business Park. The company plans to close the site and is consulting with the 28 staff and their union to discuss the proposal and transfer options within the company.

“Our people at Canterbury are needed in our company and we want to retain their skills and experience. We have options for them at our Belfast beef plant, at our Fairton lamb plant and at Pareora which we will discuss with them as we work through the consultation process.”