Meat supplier Russell Hume has gone into administration, with this news following the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) recent hygiene investigation into the company.
Headquartered in Derby and operating from six production sites in Liverpool, Birmingham, London, Boroughbridge, Exeter and Fife, the company supplied meat to a number of hotels, restaurants and pubs across the UK – including JD Wetherspoon and Jamie Oliver restaurants. The business employed a total of 302 people.
Last month, production across the company’s sites ceased and products were recalled after an investigation was launched by FSA into allegations of non-compliance with food hygiene regulations.
In a joint statement, Russell Hume’s directors said: “Unfortunately, the FSA’s action created impossible trading conditions for us, and after careful reflection we have decided the best thing for the company and its creditors is to put Russell Hume into administration.
“This decision has been heartbreaking. We will continue to work with the FSA with regards to the issues it raised, but we still feel its action has been out of all proportion to the concerns it says it has identified. Had it worked more closely with us in the crucial early stages of the situation, then more than 300 jobs may not have been lost.
“Prior to this, we had a long, unblemished record for supplying quality meat products. We would like to thank our customers for their support, but above all our loyal and hard-working staff, some of whom have been with us a great many years. They were all an integral part of our success, and we are very sorry the Russell Hume story should have ended in such a sudden and devastating way. Our thoughts today are with them and their families.”
Chris Pole and Mark Orton from KPMG Restructuring have been appointed joint administrators.
Pole commented: “The recent product recall and halt in operations has caused significant customer attrition and trading difficulties, which in turn has led the directors to take the decision to place the company into administration.
“Regrettably, with little prospect of production restarting on site, a total of 266 people have been made redundant. Our priority over the coming days will be to work with all affected employees to provide the assistance they need in claiming monies owed from the Redundancy Payments Office.
“We will also be seeking buyers for the business and its assets. Any interested parties are advised to contact us as soon as possible.”
Interested parties are advised to contact Vijay Merchant at KPMG on 0121 232 3670.
*Photo: Graham Richardson (modified by Food Management Today).