Meatless Farm owes more than £2m following administration

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

Meatless Farm's range of products will be integrated into the VFC Foods portfolio
Meatless Farm's range of products will be integrated into the VFC Foods portfolio

Related tags plant-based administration vegan Meatless Farm plant-based meat Meat alternatives

Plant-based manufacturer Meatless Farm owes more than £2m to a mixture of creditors, employees and HSBC bank, according to a new report compiled by administrators.

Further details of Meatless Farm’s administration have been released, with the UK arm of the business owing more than £2m following its collapse last month (June 2023).

The firm appointed Geoff Bouchier and Benjamin Wiles of global risk and financial services provider Kroll as administrators on 13 June and was subsequently bought a week later by vegan manufacturer VFC Foods​.

Kroll’s report has now revealed that deal was worth £475k, with the valuation made up from £200k for the intellectual property, £175k for stock and £100k for the plant and equipment.

The report also included that Meatless Farm owes £1.87m to more than 150 unsecured creditors, while HSBC is due £230k. Meat processor Hilton Food Group and contract manufacturer Giorgio’s Continental were listed as two of the creditors due payments.

Meanwhile, the plant-based manufacturer owes more than £100k to the 50 former members of staff that were made redundant in June, prior to the business going into administration.

HSBC and the former employees will be repaid in full according to the report, while the 150 unsecured creditors are also set to receive payments. An unspecified amount will also be repaid to HMRC.

Meatless Farm administration journey

According to Companies House records, Meatless Farm posted losses of more than £22m during 2021 and had been working with Kroll as advisors since May of this year.

Following the firm going into administration, VFC Foods rescued the brand as part of a strategic acquisition with plans to integrate Meatless Farm products into its portfolio.

The Meatless Farm brand carries a huge amount of customer loyalty and engagement, and we therefore see both our brands acting independently, yet in harmony whilst leveraging the core values of our underlining mission​,” VFC Foods chief executive Dave Sparrow told Food Manufacture.

By bringing both brands together we can harness greater R&D, innovation and NPD capabilities which in turn will ensure we are offering better choice and quality to all consumers throughout various meal occasions. Just as with VFC, Meatless Farm have a fabulous range of products and it’s safe to say that they are here to stay – including the vegan mince.

“However, it’s also worthy of note that Meatless Farm had a high level of complexity behind its product count and supply chain, and where possible we will be looking to streamline operations and take complexity out where it isn’t required. This will enable our teams to focus on the best possible products under each brand​.”

Unforgiving economic climate

Meanwhile, Rollits corporate finance director Julian Wild told Food Manufacture that Meatless Farm suffered as a result of the cost-of-living crisis which put additional pressure on fringe products like plant-based meat alternatives.

Fundamentally, I don’t think the concept was wrong, but it was not well-managed, and the economic climate has caught them out​,” Wild added.

Inevitably, creditors and investors catch a cold. This could be one in a long line of disappointing crowd-funded failures​.”

In other news, meat manufacturer Dovecote Park is pushing for the expansion of its Yorkshire-based facilities onto green belt land​.

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