By Melissa Keogh
Proof in the power of choosing local at the checkout is evident in the revival of one of South Australia’s most loved food suppliers, Spring Gully Foods.
Four and a half years after entering voluntary administration, the iconic SA brand is out of the pickle after clearing the debts which almost forced the company to close its doors.
Spring Gully Foods entered voluntary administration in April, 2013, with debts of more than $4.9 million following a sudden downturn in sales.
However, following an unprecedented public response which cleared supermarket shelves of its product, Spring Gully was able to trade its way out of trouble, even instituting a second shift to keep up with demand.
In July that year, it entered a Deed of Company Arrangement, agreeing to repay its creditors in full while continuing normal day-to-day trade.
Final payments under the agreement have now been dispatched to unsecured creditors, and Spring Gully has repaid debtors 102 cents in the dollar.
Spring Gully’s managing director, Kevin Webb, says the company’s turnaround was a testament to the spirit of SA and its support of local companies.
“One of the reasons we were able to trade our way out of debt was because of the support shown by the people of SA,” he says.
“They made a choice to choose SA and we are humbled by that decision.”
Kevin, an ambassador of the successful I Choose SA campaign, encourages consumers and businesses to look for the State Brand when shopping, as the logo ensures the company is employing South Australians and contributes positively to the future of the State’s economy.
If every SA household were to spend an extra $2.30 a week on local food and beverages, such as Spring Gully products, it could support up to 600 new jobs.
Kevin says it was a relief to be through the most traumatic period of the company’s history.
“It means Spring Gully can look to the future with confidence,” he says.
The I Choose SA campaign is now in its second year and like Spring Gully, more than 3,650 businesses have embraced and registered on the I Choose SA Business Directory, which allows consumers and businesses to find local products, services and suppliers.
Find out more at ichoosesa.com.au.