JBS Australia today confirmed jobs have been cut at its Riverina Beef feedlot and processing plant at Yanco.
JBS Australia director John Berry told Weekly Times Now there had been a change in the mix of grain-fed and grass-fed cattle which lead to the change in operations at the site.
Mr Berry said a number of casual and permanent positions had been cut but he refused to talk numbers.
"I'm not prepared to go into that. There needs to be a different level of manning and it takes less people to process grass-fed (cattle). The grain-fed are much bigger," Mr Berry said.
He said the mayor of Narrandera and Leeton had been informed of the changes and that the company was committed to the region believing it was well-located in the grain-belt.
"What we're looking at is the ongoing business.
"The grain-fed beef market is facing challenging global times and we at JBS Australia believe we have plants located across the country and have been able to move to more grass-fed as a go forth strategy."
It's another blow for the Riverina after JBS last week closed its Prime City feedlot sighting a company review and shift towards grass-fed cattle to deal with the global market.
Speaking to The Weekly Times earlier this week before JBS Australia's announcement, Rawlinson and Brown managing director Lawry Owers said local producers would take heart in their proximity to Yanco's feedlot (Riverina Beef) following the closure of Prime City at Tabitta.
"With three of four feedlots running at less than full capacity, one had to go in order to run the others at full capacity. There may be some freight disadvantages for cattle south of Griffith, but then again most our cattle are sold at Wagga anyway," Mr Owers said.
"Any disadvantage may be in freight, but only 50km from Griffith is the Yanco feedlot, so as far as the farmer is concerned, there are no major effect for livestock and producer," he added.
Leeton Shire Mayor Paul Maytom said the company's management had contacted him about the job losses last week and he hoped to meet with Mr Berry and Narrandera mayor Jenny Clarke next week to discuss the operation, trends and forecast for the future.
"Whatever the job losses it is a big blow for the community and the region," Cr Maytom said.
He believed there were about 510 staff on the books and the company would remain a major employer in the shire.
"It's a state-of-the-art facility unfortunately this is a downsizing due to economic issues beyond the company's control for them to stay in business hopefully when the trend changes the jobs will return."