BRISBANE based pulse processing and exporting business Blue Ribbon Group has been placed in the hands of liquidators.
The company has debts totalling over $10 million across its two major businesses.
Of that, around $7.7 million is believed to be owed to unsecured creditors.
It is not known how much is owed to farmer customers.
Peter Dinoris, liquidator with Artemis, confirmed he had been appointed on December 1 last year as liquidator for Blue Ribbon Grain and Pulses and Blue Ribbon Seed and Pulse Exporters, in accordance with the orders of the Supreme Court of Queensland.
The Supreme Court orders followed an application by fellow Queensland-based agribusiness Bean Growers Australia.
Mr Dinoris confirmed he was working with parties interested in the assets and business of the company.
Blue Ribbon, established in 2000, has been a buyer of various pulse crops, including chickpeas, mung beans and cowpeas.
It has been both a domestic and export supplier of various pulse crops, both for human consumption and for stock feed.
The company operated a processing facility along with conducting marketing and exporting containerised product.
Along with this, the business had a 50 per cent stake in Australian Premium Seeds, a supplier of tropical pastures and legumes which has been sold.
The company overall had 15 staff on its book prior to entering administration.
Mr Dinoris said minimal staff had been retained to assist with the liquidation process, including updating the financial accounts of the company, realising stock and collating information for interested parties.
Mr Dinoris said there were a range of secured and unsecured creditors.
He said the major secured creditor was the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, which is owed around $3.9m.
Mr Dinoris invited all creditors who believe they have a claim to submit their proof of debt statement by January 31.
Following this, he said an update would be provided to creditors by February 28.
Mr Dinoris said there were a number of factors that had led to the company’s downfall, including underperforming investments, a poor season for one of the company’s major commodities in mung beans and increased competition.
Andrew Weidemann, Grain Producers Australia chairman, said the collapse of the business underscored the need for pulse exporters to India to be protected from tariffs imposed on chickpeas prior to Christmas.
“This has happened prior to the tariff being imposed, you can see there is already pressure in the pulse export market, having a 30pc tariff imposed is going to make it very difficult for exporters.”