Just two years after purchasing Australian ice cream brand Weis, Unilever will close the brand’s original Queensland factory in Toowoomba, which has been operational for more than 60 years.
The company said 93 jobs will be lost by the time the facility closes in December 2020. Unilever cited costs, competition, and distribution channels in its decision to manufacturer the ice cream interstate and said all of its ice cream manufacturing will take place in its Western Sydney factory.
“We did not anticipate this decision when we acquired Weis from the Weis family in 2017. It was our firm intention to keep manufacturing at Toowoomba, which is why we have made major investments in the site over the past two and a half years,” explained Clive Stiffs, chief executive officer of Unilever Australia & New Zealand. “After an extensive review, it became clear that consolidating our Australian ice cream manufacturing operations at Minto is necessary to achieve the benefits of scale and ensure continued strong on-shore manufacturing,” Stiffs continued.
Furthermore, the company stated that opportunities will be available should Toowoomba employees wish to transfer to other parts of the Unilever business, including the operations in Sydney. The food giant also established a dedicated support program to assist employees in preparing for future employment opportunities.