Brexit blamed for 260 job losses as UK food supplier Southern Salads collapses into administration

A family-run company that supplied fresh salads to supermarkets, restaurants and travel chains across the UK has gone out of business, costing around 260 people their jobs.

Administrators say Southern Salads, based in Tonbridge, has ceased trading with immediate effect.

They confirmed all but a handful of its approximately 260 staff have been made redundant.

Despite successfully producing over 50 tonnes of salad per day for its array of customers, the company faced an unprecedented pressure on cash flow in the immediate aftermath of last summer’s EU referendum vote.

The sudden decline in sterling was not foreseen by the company, leaving the business grappling with an immediate fall of between 10% and 20% in its purchasing power for overseas-grown salads required for the winter and early spring UK market which in turn put a severe strain on cash-flow.

With insufficient protection from its currency hedging arrangements, pressure increased on cash-flow as the business traded through to this spring.

The company was unsuccessful in negotiating any significant changes to its pricing terms with its suppliers in mainland Europe, while also being unable to pass on its cost increases to supermarkets and its other customers.

The company relies on European suppliers for fresh vegetables and fruit from the Netherlands and Poland in the north to France, Italy and Spain in the south.

Cllr Antony Hook, South East Liberal Democrats Brexit Spokesman, said; 

"Liberal Democrats stand by all the people who have lost their jobs at Southern Salads.

This business's closure is reported to result from the fall in the pound following the Brexit vote.

The people who led the campaign for Brexit promised the public this would not happen, they promised lives would get better.

Instead, Brexit inflation is costing jobs as well as driving up prices for families' cost of living.

The public were misled.  We need to stop Brexit. We need to have another vote when the terms of exit are known so people can decide whether this is what we really want."

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