SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Faced with a drought in eastern Australia, GrainCorp said on Nov. 1 that it is cutting jobs in its Grains business unit in the region.

The company said there will be a reduction of management layers in country and port operations and “removal of duplication through streamlining of other functions.” Additionally, the Grains’ eastern Australian supply chain, planning, operations, customer and commercial management functions are being streamlined.

Klaus Pamminger, group general manager, Grains, said the change was a necessary step.

“Clearly the drought is a significant challenge, however we are acting to ensure a sustainable future for our business in eastern Australia beyond the immediate term,” he said. “Our fixed cost base must better reflect the volatile volume task we face each year and it must adapt to intense competition in lean years and good years.”

The announcement follows an Oct. 30 harvest report from the eastern states that showed a very slow start. GrainCorp reported receivals of 181,500 tonnes and said in the report that a “significant share” of production will remain on farm or be delivered directly to consumers.

Media reports said the lack of rain will cause grain production to reach the lowest level in a decade.

GrainCorp said it is working closely with employees whose roles are directly affected by the changes. Redeployment opportunities within GrainCorp will be explored, and if not possible, employees will receive full entitlements and outplacement support, including employee assistance.