Vegetable growers in Gisborne say they will be reluctant to plant crops without contracts next year, after processor Cedenco Foods was placed in receivership.
Cedenco Foods has vegetable and fruit processing factories in Gisborne and Hastings, employing 88 full time staff in New Zealand and a peak of about 400 seasonal workers.
About 40 growing organisations in Gisborne have been told this year's crop will be paid out, but there are no guarantees for next year.
The Gisborne Produce Growers' Association says without new contracts in place, growers will not risk planting in 2010.
The receiver says Cedenco's financier, ANZ National, has indicated it is prepared to keep the business going until a buyer is found.
The accountant appointed to handle the receivership, Brendon Gibson of KordaMentha, says there is no pressure to sell quickly. The priority is to get the business trading in a comfortable manner and then deal with the sale process.