A multi-million dollar rescue package has been offered to the makers of the Chiko Roll, who are considering closing down the NSW factory where the greasy snack is produced.
US company JR Simplot says it is reviewing the viability of its three Australian operations because of ‘‘competitive pressures’’ in food processing and manufacturing, NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner said.
The NSW government has offered a three-year payroll tax break to the Bathurst factory where the uniquely Australian snack is produced, in the hope this will dissuade the company from closing the facility, which employs 195 people.
Lean Cuisine, Edgell, Birds Eye, Leggo’s and John West products are also made at the Bathurst plant.
But a spokesman for Mr Stoner couldn’t provide exact figures about the rescue package, saying just that it was ‘‘a pretty substantial amount ... in the millions of dollars range’’.
The money JR Simplot saves in payroll tax will be used to ‘‘make operations at the plant a little more environmentally cost effective,’’ the spokesman said.
This would involve, among other things, using renewable energy where possible.
JR Simplot runs food processing operations at Kelso, near Bathurst, and at Davenport in Tasmania, which are also under review.
The move has been applauded by the peak agricultural body NSW Farmers, which says many vegetable farmers sell their goods to JR Simplot.