Kyabram Free Press
END OF THE LINE
Last day for 16 jam factory workers
Kyabram’s jam factory farewelled 16 workers with 250 years of experience on its historic jam-making line last Friday, leaving only a handful of the jam production staff on site at the Mccormick Rd factory.
The 16 workers were informed by the company five weeks ago that they would be offered redundancy packages as a result of reduced demand for the company’s jam products.
For many of the workers it was the end of a long association with the factory, which has had four owners and at one point in its history employed more than 100 people on the jam-making line.
One worker had been with the company for 42 years and a majority had clocked up more than 20 years at the site.
A small team will remain as a separate unit to the factory’s milk product component as it continues the production of Taylor’s Marinade products and some jam items.
The milk products, and staff involved in their production, at the Kyabram factory will not be interrupted by the shutdown of the jam-making line.
Kyabram Jam Company directors Adam Pretty, from Undera, and Loi Tuan Ee, from Malaysia, purchased the factory in October 2019.
The business was operated by American company J.M. Smucker, before being bought out by Coca Cola Amatil in 2005.
SPC then operated the factory prior to the establishment of Kyabram Jam Company, established by Sydney-based fund manager Millinium Capital Managers.
The jam operation, once part of agribusiness giant Elders under the leadership of brash, Melbourne businessman John Elliott, who died last month, has changed hands three times in the past 30 years.
In 1895 the company began operations in Melbourne at the "jam factory" site, which became corporate offices for John Elliott's merged Elder Smith Goldsborough Mort and Carlton and United Breweries business (Elders IXL) in the 1970s.
The IXL brand and processing plants were sold in 1989 to J.M. Smucker Co and again in 2004, to SPC.
Some of the 16 staff who finished with the company on Friday have moved into other employment, but as they farewelled the site on Friday afternoon most were planning on taking a break before seeking alternative employment.
Most of the workers live in Kyabram, a couple Tongala and another is from Mooroopna.
The five-day-a-week operation had slowed its production of jam markedly in previous months, with nine positions from the jam line being made redundant in March this year.
The production line was working at about a third of the capacity of previous years, which was among the reasons for the ceasing of jam production.
The company is in the process of working with Campaspe Shire Council to further develop its milk product manufacturing business.