Kent

Brexit blamed as Southern Salads goes into administration

Southern Salads in Tonbridge
Image caption Southern Salads produced 50 tonnes of salad a day

About 260 people have lost their jobs after a company supplying fresh salads to supermarkets, restaurants and travel chains went into administration.

Southern Salads, based in Tonbridge in Kent, said the pound's devaluation since last year's EU referendum vote had made the business unsustainable.

The family-run firm had been operating for 31 years. It ceased trading "with immediate effect" on Wednesday.

Administrators FRP Advisory said a rescue package had not been possible.

It said its immediate priority was to help staff who had been made redundant.

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The food supplier, which produced 50 tonnes of salad a day, had invested heavily in its production facilities in 2014 but the expected increase in turnover did not happen.

'Unprecedented pressure'

Joint administrator and FRP Advisory partner Ian Vickers said it had faced "an unprecedented pressure on cash flow" in the wake of the Brexit vote.

It relied on European suppliers for fresh vegetables and fruit.

Local Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat said the job losses were not a surprise.

"I campaigned very actively for Remain because this is exactly what I expected, and I'm very sorry that it has happened.

"This is an important Tonbridge employer that was bringing money into Tonbridge and supporting many Tonbridge community events, so I'm very sorry to see it go," he said.

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