UK food firms’ future riskier than just in Wales

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags United kingdom Economics

The UK as a whole had a greater proportion of food industry insolvencies than Wales
The UK as a whole had a greater proportion of food industry insolvencies than Wales
Welsh food and drink manufacturers have a better chance of avoiding insolvency than firms across the UK as a whole, according to research from insolvency trade body R3.

According to R3’s figures, which were derived from Bureau van Dijk’s ‘Fame’ database of company information, 17.1% of food manufacturers in Wales were at risk of failure. That contrasts with 21% of food manufacturers when taking into account data from across the UK.

“We can certainly take some positives from the fact that fewer Welsh food manufacturers are at risk compared to the UK as a whole,”​ said Ross Connock, chair of R3 in Wales and director at PricewaterhouseCoopers. But redundancies are still being made and this sector is still facing some real challenges,” ​he warned.

‘Competitive market’

“The food industry is an incredibly competitive market and the loss of contracts, new consumer buying trends and changes in the economy all hinder its growth. However, if companies are savvy they can find opportunities during the most challenging of times.

“As well as looking at their marketing activities, companies will often develop and diversify to survive. However, if companies have explored all avenues possible and are still worried about their financial future, we always advise them to seek professional advice before it’s too late.”

Nearly 400 job losses

The research was released after Food Utopia announced in August the start of consultations between management, staff and unions over nearly 400 job losses at the former Avana Bakeries factory in Newport​, south Wales.

Food Utopia took over the Avana Bakeries factory, which was previously owned and operated by 2 Sisters Food Group, in July.

According to Food Utopia’s statement, which it issued after the announcement, the business aimed to develop its own range of cake products as it pursued every avenue to boost its activities.

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