Finance

Family-owned gluten-free baker Zehnder collapses into voluntary administration

Eloise Keating /

A family-owned baker of gluten-free products with supply deals with Woolworths and IGA Supermarkets has collapsed into voluntary administration.

Zehnder Gluten Free was established by Josef Zehnder and his family on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in 2007.

The company makes and supplies gluten-free breads, cakes and pasta to major supermarkets and independent retailers and eateries across Australia, as well as exporting to New Zealand and countries in Asia and Europe. It has won several awards, including the Telstra Business Awards for Queensland Innovation in 2011.

But less than three years after investing more than $5 million in a new production centre at the Big Pineapple complex on the Sunshine Coast, Zehnder Gluten Free has entered voluntary administration.

Terrance Rose and Anne Meagher of SV Partners were appointed administrators of Zehnder Gluten Free and related entity Zehnder Dezentje on March 26.

Rose confirmed to SmartCompany this morning Zehnder Gluten Free is still trading, continuing to supply products to its local supermarket clients and maintaining its export business.

Rose says it is too early to discuss the reasons why the business has entered administration and was unable to comment on the company’s turnover.

Zehnder Gluten Free currently employs 10 people and Rose says a restructure of the company is one possible outcome of the administration process, but the administrators will “explore all options”, including selling the business as a going concern.

In 2011, Josef Zehnder and his team were praised for their innovative production techniques in the Telstra Business Awards.

“Zehnder Gluten Free … eliminated some processing steps and developed new techniques in its bread production … [and] is applying new European baking technology in its processing,” said Telstra at the time.

“The rapid cooling baking process will deliver products with less weight loss and longer shelf life, at reduced energy cost with a shortening of the baking time by five to 20%.”

The first meeting of creditors is scheduled to be held in Maroochydore on April 8.

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Eloise Keating

Eloise Keating is the editor of SmartCompany. Previously, Eloise was news editor at Books+Publishing, the trade press for the Australian book industry.

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