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Mounting cash flow pressures force leading UK banana supplier into administration

PUBLISHED: 09:41 27 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:41 27 July 2020

The entrance to Winfresh's state-of-the-art facilities at Stanstead Ripening Centre, High Cross Lane East, Little Canfield, Dunmow  Picture: GOOGLEMAPS

The entrance to Winfresh's state-of-the-art facilities at Stanstead Ripening Centre, High Cross Lane East, Little Canfield, Dunmow Picture: GOOGLEMAPS

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Around 70 workers at a banana suppliers based in north Essex face an anxious time after the company went into administration.

A satellite view of Winfresh's state-of-the-art facilities at Stanstead Ripening Centre, High Cross Lane East, Little Canfield, Dunmow  Picture: GOOGLEMAPSA satellite view of Winfresh's state-of-the-art facilities at Stanstead Ripening Centre, High Cross Lane East, Little Canfield, Dunmow Picture: GOOGLEMAPS

It’s unclear yet what the fate of the workforce at Winfresh UK Ltd, based at Dunmow, will be.

The company – launched in 1994 – is one of the UK’s leading suppliers of bananas including Fairtrade bananas from smallholders in the Caribbean, distributing the fruit to UK retailers and food service providers from its state-of-the-art ripening facility in Dunmow.

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Joint administrators Michael Lennon, Sarah Bell and Philip Dakin of Duff & Phelps were appointed on July 23.

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Mr Lennon said: “In recent years the UK banana market has become highly competitive and that has impacted the company in terms of volume and pricing.

“As a result, the financial position of the company has become untenable and mounting cash flow pressures has resulted in the appointment of the joint administrators.”

The administrators say they are working closely with Winfresh customers and suppliers to understand the short-term future of the business. But a spokesman said it was “too early” to say what would happen with the workforce.

“It is too early to define what the long-term prospects are for the company, but we will explore all the options available to the company,” said Mr Lennon.


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