S&A Foods enters administration after Asda contract loss

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

S&A Foods has entered administration after the loss of its Asda contract
S&A Foods has entered administration after the loss of its Asda contract

Related tags Contract

S&A Foods has been forced to enter administration after Asda cancelled its contract for the firm’s chilled, ethnic ready meals.

The Derby-based business, which employs 350 people, is now in the hands of administrators Deloitte, the firm’s founder Perween Warsi confirmed today (October 27).

Warsi, who won the Food Manufacture Personality of the Year in 2012​, said Asda had chosen to use another supplier after a 28-year relationship.

“We have worked desperately hard to try and save the business in a very short space of time, but, having explored many different options and rescue packages, we have no alternative but to appointment administrators,”​ she said.

‘Immense emotional strain’

“My heart goes out to all my colleagues at S&A Foods who have shown commitment and loyalty to me over many years, including in the last few days when they have been under immense emotional strain.

“My over-riding priority now is to do all I can to ensure that everyone affected receives as much support as possible.”

Asda’s decision was the root cause of S&A entering administration, she added.

S&A Foods’ employees were informed of the decision to appoint administrators at a meeting this afternoon.

“We are considering our options in this regard and are having conversations with the appropriate parties who are best placed to help us make the right decisions in the coming days and weeks,” ​Warsi said.

“Now is not the time for recrimination and the full facts will emerge in the coming weeks, but the harsh reality is that we simply could not run a financially viable business on the revised terms offered by Asda.”

‘Body blow’

Unite the Union said it was a “body blow​for the employees, their families and the local Derby economy.
“We understand that that the contract with Asda has caused severe cash-flow problems which resulted in the workers being sent home on Monday, except for a maintenance team,​Unite regional officer David Jeffery said.
“Unite will be giving maximum support to our members during the redundancy process and, in the longer term, support through our ‘lifelong learning’ teams to help our members apply for jobs in the area.”

S&A Foods was founded in 1987 and named after Warsi’s sons Sadiq and Abid. Venture capitalists bought into the business a year later.

It built its third production facility in 1999 and took full control back from its investors in 2004.   

Related topics Chilled foods

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