South Taranaki Mayor Ross Dunlop is optimistic buyers will be found for Yarrows (The Bakers), whose plant in the district has gone into receivership putting 200 jobs on the line.

"We're all pretty optimistic that they're going to keep trading, and hopefully a buyer will come along to take it over as a going concern. That would be the best outcome," Dunlop told Radio NZ today.

He had been speaking to the receiver and understood there was some interest in the business, although he did not know any of the details.

Workers at the business in the small South Taranaki town of Manaia came from throughout the district, with some even commuting from New Plymouth.

"It's an extremely important company, and the Yarrow family and the Yarrows business has been just an enormous supporter of the whole of Taranaki for many, many years. So it's a big blow in all sorts of ways," Dunlop said.

Receivers Brian Mayo-Smith and Andrew Bethell said other companies in the Yarrows Group operating in Rotorua and Australia were unaffected and continuing to trade as normal.

"The receivers are planning to continue to trade the company to provide uninterrupted supply to its customers, ultimately securing a sale of the business," they said.

Founded in 1923 by Alfred and Grace Yarrow, the company tried to revive its fortunes in 2008 by introducing a new range of breads made with a South American wholegrain chia, which it branded as Salba.

It made the move - licensing the ingredient and branding from Canada - after losing a contract comprising 70 per cent of its production of fresh bread, which it used to supply to Tiptop.

- NZPA