Australian company out-sauces

Date

4BC Drive: Iconic Australian brand Rosella is the latest home grown product to go into receivership.

Ausbuy CEO Lynne Wilkinson joins Gary Hardgrave to discuss the ups and downs of what had been one of the countries most enduring brands and fears there will be more closures to come.

News Update

Rosella workers in shock

Employees of iconic food brand Rosella say they were taken "totally by surprise" by news the company has been placed into receivership.

About 275 people employed by Rosella's parent company, Gourmet Food Holdings and Waterwheel, were told on Monday morning that their jobs could be at risk.

The group's interests include sauce, spice and chutney manufacturer Rosella based at Seven Hills, NSW; Auckland-based organic soups and pre-made meals maker Pitango; and crispbreads and cracker maker Waterwheel, based at Dandenong in Victoria.

Ferrier Hodgson has been appointed as receiver and manager of the food manufacturer.

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union secretary Tim Ayres told reporters the first employees knew of the company's troubles was at 6am on Monday.

"These people are totally taken by surprise and are only being briefed as we speak about the circumstances the company finds itself in," Mr Ayres said a media conference in Sydney.

He said about 80 positions were at risk at the Seven Hills site in Sydney but there had been no job losses as yet.

"We have received assurances that the focus of this administration is to sell what is a viable Australian food making business as a going concern and to protect every single job."

Mr Ayres said the company was a key Australian food manufacturer.

"If, as the federal government has indicated, that part of our manufacturing future is going to be as a food bowl for the Asian market then it's really important that this company can compete into the future.

"We've got a very strong business there with very skilled employees, selling products that all Australians have come to know and love, and we need to make sure they're there on the supermarket shelf for people to buy over Christmas."

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