Management to take biggest hit in Elders' lay-offs

MOST of the 150 jobs to go in the restructure of agribusiness giant Elders will be from management ranks, but some staff in regional areas may also go.

The company, one of Australia's top rural farm suppliers and a key player in regional real estate and insurance, is undergoing a restructure.

It holds more than 200 full service rural branches across the country as well as a further 240-odd real estate and insurance offices.

Elders group general manager David Goodfellow said about 10% of the total 2000-strong workforce would likely go as part the changes.

But he said the lion's share of those jobs would come from "middle and senior management", many from company headquarters in Adelaide.

There will also be 10 branches to close, five of which will be across the "northern zone", encompassing Queensland, New South Wales, the Northern Territory and the Kimberley.

But Mr Goodfellow said he could not confirm specifically which branches would close, as the company was still in discussions with staff.

He said the restructure would see a return of decision-making to local branches and a downsizing of head office, as part of a move to a "hub and spoke model".

It comes as the rural giant also moves out of the forestry industry, after divesting itself of managed investment scheme-related forestry assets.

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