LUV-A-DUCK'S chief executive says it is without question the business would bring back staff to its Nhill processing plant if and when it could.
Three full-time staff at the site have been made redundant and a further 15 casuals have had their employment terminated since the COVID-19 pandemic began. An additional 34 people have been stood down.
More than 60 jobs have been lost across the business.
Chief executive James Thompson said all 158 of the staff at the Nhill plant prior to COVID-19 had been hurt by the pandemic.
He said processing had been reduced from five days a week to three.
Remaining staff have agreed to a wage freeze and senior executives, a wage cut.
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Mr Thompson said the cuts were an effect of the onslaught of coronavirus.
"We lost in excess of 70 per cent of the food service market overnight," he said.
Mr Thompson said the business had been communicating with staff in the four or five weeks prior to the decision.
He said Luv-a-Duck's 28 grow partners and breeder partners in the Wimmera were also affected by the downturn.
Mr Thompson said the business would look to rehire the staff who had lost their jobs if it grew again.
"Without question," he said.
"If this hadn't have happened, we were on the trajectory for growth plans.
"(Losing) 70 per cent of the food service business overnight is quite dramatic."
Mr Thompson said the family-owned business supplied duck products across the country.
As lockdowns end in other states, he hopes restaurants and cafes start to buy the product again.
"We're seeing some slight green shoots coming up," he said.
But Mr Thompson said it would take time to win back the market.
He said a number of cafes and restaurants that previously bought Luv-a-Duck products might not reopen post-COVID-19.
He said the economic activity of not just Australia but overseas would also determine what happened next.
"It's very hard to crystal ball what the future holds," he said.
"It's going to be a slow burn back."
Mr Thompson said the family owners were appreciative of its staff, customers and growers.
"The family business has been through its own tough times. It will endure through this time," he said.
"It will get through this situation and come back bigger and stronger."
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