Closed Food and Wine Fest can’t pay existing creditors

NOOSA International Food and Wine Festival director Jim Berardo has given up hopes of restoring the festival in 2016 and said he will be unable to pay the existing creditors.

Last month when Tourism Events Queensland decided not to fund the festival going forward, Mr Berardo was confident he could secure private sponsorship which along with ticket sales, would allow the event to continue.

When Noosa Food and Wine Events Pty Ltd collapsed in May, major sponsors Westpac decided to withdraw from its presenting partner-level sponsorship.

In a statement released yesterday, Mr Berardo said Sheraton Noosa's plans to hold a food festival in Noosa, on the same dates as those proposed for his own fesival, made it nearly impossoble to secutre private sponsorship.

He said the withdrawal of funding from the Tourism Events Qld Board of Directors and Tourism Noosa Board of Directors was a contributing factor in deciding not to go ahead with the event.

"I deeply regret that after 12 years the festival will not be staged in 2016," Mr Berardo said.

"We have given it our all, and looked to pursue every angle in order to continue, but in light of recent events, we have now decided we cannot proceed to create a profitable and sustainable event at this time, hence, we have decided to cancel our plans.

"Most of all I am very sad to say that without the 2016 event going ahead, we cannot make payments to creditors of Noosa Food and Wine Events Pty Ltd.

"I have done everything in my power to mitigate the situation, but regrettably have had no support, and we now do not have the business model to proceed with the repayments."

Mr Berardo said he regretted the circumstances.