A plant-based food manufacturer made the majority its staff redundant due to a decline in demand of vegan products.
Meatless Farm (which makes vegan sausages and mince as well as burgers) hired restructuring experts Kroll in the hope of finding a buyer to help it with its cash flow problems.
Sources close to the situation say that many employees were let go on Friday. According to LinkedIn, the company employs approximately 100 people. It is unknown how many people were laid off.
Meatless Farm has filed notice of its intention to appoint an administrator on May 31. However, it is believed that no administrator has been appointed yet.
Morten Toft Bech, a Danish entrepreneur, founded the company in 2016, as plant-based product demand increased in the UK.
The company also offers vegan pasties, vegan mince, and plant-based ravioli, as well as a “chickenless Christmas roast”.
The business has not been able to make a profit in recent years, despite steady growth. The company’s most recent results show that revenues nearly doubled, from PS7.5m in 2010 to PS12.5m by 2021. However, losses increased from €15.4m to €23.5m.
Since its inception, the company has raised more than 40 million pounds sterling (£40m) from investors through a number of crowdfunding campaigns.
Toft Bech informed The Grocer of the fact that a major shareholder had withdrawn from a significant financial commitment made to the company. He said that the MF board and management team were “surprised” by this.
The trade magazine reported that the company was in trouble last month. He said: “Operationally Meatless Farm does really well, but the cashflow pinch is hard to manage due to the short notice given by the investor to fix it.”
This comes in the midst of a general slowdown on the vegan food market.
Heck, a Yorkshire-based meat and sausage manufacturer, recently reduced’s range of plant-based goods from 15 to about 2. They blamed a lack in demand.
Other major supermarkets are also pulling back. Tesco, Asda Morrisons Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Sainsbury’s all reduced the number of meatless lines available by 10.9pc in the six-month period ending March 20.