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Twenty jobs lost as Norfolk potato business Preva Produce goes into administration

PUBLISHED: 12:17 03 January 2017 | UPDATED: 17:07 03 January 2017

Matt Howard from administrators Price Bailey at Preva Produce head office at Foulsham near Fakenham in Norfolk. Picture: PRICE BAILEY.

Matt Howard from administrators Price Bailey at Preva Produce head office at Foulsham near Fakenham in Norfolk. Picture: PRICE BAILEY.

Archant

A company which supplied potatoes to the likes of Walkers and Kettle Foods has been put into administration, with the loss of 20 jobs.

Preva Produce Ltd, which has premises at Foulsham and Snetterton, had suffered “significant cash flow pressures” which had led to difficult trading conditions in recent months, said administrators Price Bailey.

They are now looking at the possibility of selling parts of the business, and have already agreed a deal subject to contract for the company’s 29,000 sq ft packing facility at Snetterton, which was suspended in November because of cash constraints.

Matt Howard and Stuart Morton of chartered accountants and business advisers Price Bailey were appointed joint administrators on December 20, 2016.

Mr Howard said: “The management team are working with Price Bailey to review the company’s position and to formulate a strategy.

“Unfortunately, it has been necessary to make 20 redundancies, leaving 11 staff remaining.”

Preva Produce was established in 2001 as an integrated potato business which produced chipping and crisping potatoes for companies such as Walkers, Kettle, Asda and Morrisons.

It describes itself on its website as a “significant grower in East Anglia”, producing salad, pre-pack, chipping and crisping potatoes, as well as specialists in seed production and handling, with import links across Europe and the Middle East.

According to Companies House, Preva Produce applied to extend its latest accounting period by six months to the end of June 2016. Its most recently filed accounts, for the year ended December 31, 2014, showed the company earn a pre-tax profit of £407,669 on a turnover of £11.62m, with directors welcoming “a strong return to form in 2014 against a backdrop of depressed prices, over-production and a retail potato market that has continued to diminish year-on-year”.

Stuart Morton, insolvency practitioner at Price Bailey, added: “We are keen to talk to any interested parties for other parts of the business.

“While the future of the business is uncertain it is always our preference to save the business and secure as many jobs as possible.”

Are you a creditor of Preva Produce? Email mark.shields@archant.co.uk

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