At the height of the pandemic in 2020, the country was tipped to run out of Australian rice by Christmas, according to the head of SunRice.
Despite the increase demand due to COVID-19 and the past two seasons being two of the lowest harvest years on record, chief executive Rob Gordon said they were able to manage supply until now.
With the 2021 Riverina rice crop expected to total more than 450,000 paddy tonnes when harvesting commences in March, the SunRice Group is currently hiring employees across its Leeton and Deniliquin operations to facilitate increased production.
But Mr Gordon said there will be a short period of ceased production prior to the 2021 crop being harvested.
"The last two years of drought, low water availability and very high water prices - exacerbated by the impacts of water reform - have led to 2019 and 2020 being two of the smallest Riverina rice crops on record," he said.
"While we are pleased that conditions have improved significantly to allow the planting of a much larger Riverina rice crop, there will unfortunately be a short gap between when we exhaust remaining supplies of rice and when the next crop is harvested.
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"Unfortunately the small size of the crop - coupled with the increased demand for our products due to changed consumer shopping patterns throughout COVID, has meant that there will be this short gap prior to the harvest of the 2021 crop when production ceases."
The group is hiring additional positions to commence in May in processing and packaging.
"We are working with our employees to minimise disruption, and are offering redeployment and training opportunities across other operations where possible," Mr Gordon said.