SUNRICE will slash a further 55 jobs from its Leeton plant by April next year, bringing the total amount of jobs lost throughout the company to 230 since November last year.
A further 25 positions are also set to go from the Deniliquin mill and 20 company's subsidiary, Australian Grain Storage.
In October SunRice announced it would be cutting a further 32 jobs from its Leeton and Deniliquin milling operations after already slashing numbers towards the end of 2018.
The company is blaming the job losses on the predicted small crop in 2020, following on from the 2019 crop, which was the second lowest on record.
SunRice said it had taken significant steps, including putting record prices to growers in August 2019, in a bid to stimulate plantings for the 2020 crop, which has ensured a milling program should be maintained at the Deniliquin and Leeton mills until at least early 2021.
SunRice chief executive officer Rob Gordon said it was "with deep regret we been forced to make another series of changes to our Riverina operations ahead of the 2020 harvest".
"We understand that these changes have been, and continue to be very unsettling, and we remain committed to providing as much notice as possible to our employees throughout the process," he said.
"We will be doing all we can to support our employees and their families in the months ahead.
"In normal production years these facilities employ approximately 600 people in the communities of Leeton and Deniliquin.
"We also have significant rice storage and animal feed assets across the Riverina region, which contribute to this employment. In such years, SunRice generates close to $400 million in direct expenditure in these communities.
"As outlined at the annual general meeting in August, earnings guidance for (next year) will be provided at the time of releasing our half year results in December 2019.
"Despite the anticipated under recovery of fixed costs in the Riverina, the strength and resilience of our international supply chain will be flexed accordingly, to help reduce this impact."
SunRice has also acknowledged the significance of the current drought in the scale back of its Leeton and Deniliquin operations, but said it also believed the impacts have been exacerbated through water policy settings.
On Tuesday, the company released a report on its website prepared by analysts RMCG that identifies a series of "unintended consequences" of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, which it says is having a disproportionate impact on farmers who rely on general security water to grow annual crops, like rice, maize and fodder, in the southern Murray-Darling Basin.
We will be doing all we can to support our employees and their families in the months ahead.SunRice chief executive officer Rob Gordon
The RMCG analysis shows in the last nine years there has been disproportionately lower water availability for General Security water entitlement holders in the southern Murray-Darling Basin, with the effect of eroding their water rights in contradiction of the commitments made to these farmers.
"Due to concerns, particularly from rice growers, around the allocation of general security water in the southern Murray-Darling Basin, SunRice commissioned an external report from RMCG to investigate these issues," Mr Gordon said.
"While the water reform process has been immensely complex, this report identifies unintended consequences associated with the rollout of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and with the NSW government's water allocation practices.
"The report shows those consequences include over recovery of water, significantly eroding the rights of general security NSW irrigators, who grow rice and other annual crops.
"SunRice is currently engaging both federally and with the NSW government with the aim of addressing the inequities."
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