Orchard House Foods, which is based at Corby in Northamptonshire, with a second plant in Gateshead, Tyneside, has gone into administration, blaming the “difficult decision” on what it called the current “extremely challenging economic and trading conditions.”
Orchard House Foods produces prepared fruit, juices, smoothies and yoghurts for a range of customers, including Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Pret A Manger.
In December, the company closed its Gateshead site following an announcement in August 2022. It is understood that so far, the 430 workers affected have not yet been paid their redundancy money, despite initially hoping that payments would be made before Christmas. Local media reported one former employee as saying, “People are on the breadline now, waiting for their money. This has left employees desolate, with no money for two months.”
In a statement, a spokesperson from the company said: “For our former employees at Gateshead, once an administrator is appointed, they will be able to claim any outstanding monies owed, including the delayed redundancy payments, via [the Government’s] Insolvency Service. We expect this to happen as soon as the administrator has been appointed and we will be providing them with additional support to help with their claims.”
The company had said that 100 new jobs would be created at the Corby site, but the current situation means that the 500 current jobs are uncertain. Earlier this month the parent company Orchard House Holdings Limited was recorded as being in the process of a compulsory strike off on the Companies House website, something the firm said was an ‘administrative error.’ Before entering administration, Orchard House Foods was owned by the £90 million Elaghmore private equity company.