A major fruit company based in Hawke's Bay has gone into voluntary administration with many of its associated companies also in receivership.
Six Sunfruit Group companies went into receivership on January 19, a month after Sunfruit Orchards Ltd went into voluntary administration, according to the New Zealand Companies Register.
Sunfruit Group currently employs approximately 230 people across the Waikato and Hawke's Bay regions, with the majority based out of Hawke's Bay.
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The group is owned by the Altham family, with John Altham the director of majority of the companies.
The family has 120ha of pip and stonefruit planted in the Waikato and 350ha in Hawke's Bay.
They have been in Hawke's Bay since 2001 after expanding from the orchards planted by John Altham's father near Hamilton.
According to accounting firm BDO, business at the companies will continue as normal, including harvesting the apple crop, processing and packing for sale.
They have said with the busy season coming up this is likely to require more staff.
In the not too distant future the receivers and administrators will be commencing a sale process for the Sunfruit Group and interested parties are requested to contact Bethell and McKay directly.
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Sunfruit Group has been approached for comment.
The $25 million packhouse and coolstore on Irongate Rd, off the expressway, employs up to 30 permanent staff and up to 75 at the height of the season.
The group had a packhouse in Henderson Rd but always planned to expand into Irongate Rd, and it is now used as a coolstore.