A pioneering Hawke’s Bay drinks business has struck financial trouble, reaching an arrangement with its creditors including Inland Revenue and staff.
Heath Gair of Palliser Insolvency in Wellington was yesterday appointed deed administrator for Parkers Beverage Company.
The new arrangements mean a capital injection will be made by shareholders and preferential employee claims will be met.
Inland Revenue will also be paid under the terms of the deal.
The aim is to restore the company to financial health so it can keep trading. Payments and distributions made under the deed will release Parkers from debts owed to creditors in full.
Secured creditors include the New Zealand Sugar Co trading as Chelsea Sugar, BOC, Charta Packaging, Visy Glass Operations (NZ), Brambles New Zealand trading as Chep New Zealand, Hawke’s Bay Technologies, Dahuti International, Crown Equipment and Label & Lithgo.
The company was founded nine years ago by Campbell Johnstone, Joseph McAleese, Doug Speedy and Gerard Walsh, operating as an independent beverage manufacturing business providing branded drinks and beverage products.
“Parkers Beverage Company is a locally owned and operated independent beverage company based in the sunny Hawke’s Bay. We have a vast portfolio of brands that bring a range of products to the market, from pure New Zealand Artesian water to delicious flavoured oat milk in a can. Our ever-popular coconut water and our innovative new probiotic drinks including Hop Pop and a sparkling Biotic Soda and so much more,” Parkers says on its website.
In 2018, the Whakatu-based business was reported to be manufacturing and distributing brands such as Parkers water, Ō Pure Artesian Water, Deco City Beer, DeVine Wine and 1835 Coffee. It had then ceased using plastic.
The then-Hastings District Deputy Mayor Tania Kerr said the council was “delighted” with such a positive initiative to remove more plastic from the waste stream.
“It is innovative, future-focused businesses like Parkers that are making a difference to our environmental footprint. We commend them on their commitment,” Kerr said in 2018.
In 2020, Parkers and Adashiko Collagen launched what was reported as being the world’s first pure collagen and pure water drink without preservatives, flavouring, colours or other additives.
Both companies are from Hawke’s Bay. The new product Adashiko Refresh, comes in still and sparkling varieties and the companies were looking to introduce larger bottles to hospitality venues.
Doug Speedy of Parkers said then: “We saw some overseas trends in drinks in the United States but they were more around fruit juices and things where you could hide a lot of the protein. After several iterations in the trial process, ultimately it was the purity of the ingredients, collagen and water, that helped us create a shelf-stable final product - the first time this has been done.”
Parkers Beverage was granted five lots of Covid cash when the pandemic hit with staff numbers nearly doubling from 2020 to 2021 in an apparent expansion.
The company got an initial $89,000 for 14 staff when Covid arrived in 2020. Then, it got $42,000, $10,000, $12,000 and in 2021, got $135,000 when it took on extra employees - 28 in total at that point - in wage subsidy arrangements, according to Work and Income.
Anne Gibson has been the Herald’s property editor for 23 years, has won many awards, written books and covered property extensively here and overseas.