UK’s leading sugar beet contractor goes into administration
M&J Haulage entered administration earlier this month, following cashflow issues and pressures from creditors.
This has left its employees, growers and the entire sugar beet industry questioning their futures.
Who is M&J Haulage?
M&J Haulage is a Lincolnshire-based company that was founded in 1998.
It's known as one of the country’s foremost contractors, harvesting and hauling sugar beet on behalf of British Sugar.
It’s also said to operate up to 20 lorries a day, each carrying 4 or 5 loads (a total of 3,000 tons).
NFU Sugar, the organisation that represents sugar beet growers, deemed the business a “significant contractor” and “pioneer” in the industry.
With this in mind, it seems clear that M&J Haulage’s move to administration will have a huge impact across the wider community.
Why did it go into administration?
KPMG was appointed administrator on Thursday 12 October. It’s now reviewing the business and assessing the available options.
The administrator has claimed that M&J Haulage has been seriously affected by a recent decline in its order book. This led to cashflow issues and growing creditor pressures that the business could not sustain.
The company was unable to obtain further funding, and there seemed little prospect of future long-term orders. The only option open to it was to cease operations, send its employees home and bring in administrators.
What does this mean?
M&J haulage employs 24 people and several subcontractors, all of whom are now uncertain about their futures.
However, KPMG has said there is a “possibility of resuming operations, while we explore a sale of the business and its assets”.
The employees are not the only ones who may be affected by this move to administration. It could also seriously impact the sugar beet growers who rely on M&J Haulage for transporting their wares.
NFU Sugar has announced a meeting for growers who are affected by this. It will take place on 18 October and growers should call 0370 0661 974 to register their interest.
Michael Sly, the NFU board chairman, has said this move to administration could affect the industry as a whole.
It has led to his organisation questioning the effectiveness of the Industry Harvest and Haulage Scheme, and its ability to deliver a sustainable supply chain from field to factory.
British Sugar says there are contingency plans in place to help growers and support the overall sustainability of the sugar beet industry, but these are yet to come to fruition. NFU has urged the organisation to share these plans with growers as soon as possible, as many are worried about delays.