Home grocery delivery service Farmdrop has become bankrupt and cancelled deliveries, and owing many smaller suppliers, such as growers, money.
The company was founded by Ben Pugh, a former Morgan Stanley broker in 2012, to deliver food in the London area. It is believed to have more than 450 producer suppliers. A statement on its website said, ‘As of 15th December, it has become apparent that we have exhausted all possible options. It is with very heavy hearts that we must let you know that we will no longer be able to serve our cherished customers. 16th December will be the final day of deliveries.’
According to The Grocer, Farmdrop had 10,000 customers at the start of 2020, though it expanded rapidly during the pandemic, enjoying “unprecedented growth” in orders as large numbers of locked-down households switched to online deliveries. Earlier this year it warned “the growth in orders and sales has not translated into profitability”. Its latest accounts filed in July showed the company reported pre-tax losses of £10m compared with £11m the previous year.
Fruit preserve and jam company, Single Variety Co., said Farmdrop had been ignoring them for weeks. In a video posted to Instagram, company founder Nicola Simons said, “Farmdrop, you owe us over £2,000 in unpaid invoices dating back to August. On your website you claim to support local, independent suppliers but by failing to pay us you are doing the exact opposite.”
According to the Fresh Produce Journal ‘Alfonso Picaro of New Covent Garden supplier La Sovrana says Farmdrop chased him for months to become a supplier and then just two weeks into the supply relationship, after four big deliveries, the company folded. His business, a supplier of 21 different Italian fruits and vegetables to Farmdrop, has yet to be paid.’