Queensland’s third largest egg producer, Darling Downs Fresh Eggs, has been placed in voluntary administration.
Administrators Cor Cordis said it was too early to understand why they had been called in, but there had been problems with egg production.
“It appears that the business has suffered from a number of serious events that have affected its capacity to produce eggs,” Cor Cordis partner Darryl Kirk said.
“In addition, efforts to rebuild the bird stock to a critical mass have not materialised in time to prevent the necessity for the voluntary administration.”
The family-owned business, 200km west of Brisbane, has been run by RL Adams Pty Ltd for the last 16 years, and suffered a major setback two years when it was fined $250,000 after the consumer watchdog, the ACCC, took Darling Downs Fresh Eggs to court over misleading claims about free range eggs.
The company subsequently said it was focused on biosecurity when the offences occurred and was trying to protect its hens from an outbreak of bird flu, which led them to “inadvertently” keep the birds indoors.
Kirk said his organisation will be looking to either sell both the licensing for the business operations and/or its assets, or whether a buyer would consider recapitalisation.
“In the meantime it is business as usual for Darling Downs Fresh Eggs whilst we investigate and negotiate with prospective suitors for the business,” he said.
“Our immediate concern is for the welfare of the hens and we are undertaking the necessary steps to see their needs are catered for.”
Kirk said the first meeting of creditors is on June 21.