MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — Emerald Grain said on March 12 that it will close its Albany, Australia, office and reduce staff as part of restructuring its national network.

Emerald Grain managing director John Murray said the decision to restructure followed a six-month review of the business by the Emerald Grain board.

"We have made some difficult but important changes in order to control costs, play to our strengths and ensure future competitiveness in key markets here in Australia and also overseas," Murray said.

Murray said the restructure focused on its grain origination businesses as well as some administrative functions in Melbourne.

"In South Australia, we will be merging our two origination businesses, EP Grain in the Eyre Peninsula, and Sturt Grain in eastern South Australia, to become Emerald Grain," he said. "We will service the South Australian grain market from our existing office in Adelaide backed by our National Grower Service Centre and new online grower portal.

"Emerald Grain will also close a satellite office in Albany and service the southern market from existing offices in Perth and Geraldton."

He said the review and resulting restructure would affect some employee positions across the country.

"These are never easy decisions to make, however we believe the change is necessary to continue to operate in a highly competitive market while offering the best prices to growers," he said.

Murray said the restructure was a key step in a two-year plan to improve profitability and broaden investment in supply chain coverage.