James Clark and Howard Smith from Interpath Advisory were appointed Joint Administrators of Plant and Bean Limited (P&B) on 31 May 2023.
P&B cited significant inflation across its cost base, primarily increases in food and energy prices. The business also suffered from several operational issues which resulted in periodic interruptions to production.
The manufacturer is carrying out limited trading while the administrators explore options for sale of the business and its assets. About 25 employees have been kept on to assist with ongoing activities.
James Clark, managing director at Interpath Advisory and joint administrator, said: “Businesses across the food and drink sector, and especially those in highly competitive sub-sectors such as alternative protein, are facing immense pressures at the moment, with rising costs impacting profitability.”
“Over the coming days, we will be working with key stakeholders to explore the possibility of a sale of the business.”
Formerly known as the meat-free division within Brecks Foods, Plant & Bean spent more than 20 years developing plant-based meat products for market-leading brands and retailers.
In 2020, the company announced it was to open Europe’s largest plant-based food factory in Boston, Lincolnshire and a strategic partnership with Griffith Foods and soy processor Gushen.
Threat of insolvency
While insolvencies in the food and drink manufacturing industry have seen a steady decline since September last year, a record number of insolvencies could be on the horizon for the manufacturing sector, according to law firm Higgs.
“The circumstances for the rise in insolvencies varies sector-by-sector as each industry has its own challenges,” explained Higgs head of restructuring and insolvency Lauren Hartigan-Pritchard.
“We are witnessing a perfect storm of events that is making life very difficult for many businesses right across the country. Unless the economic picture improves, high levels of business failures are guaranteed.”
Meanwhile, administrators have been appointed to Tillery Valley Foods, with 250 jobs at the risk of redundancy.