Jobs at risk as chilled food firm enters administration

Date published: 28 September 2021

More than 400 jobs are at risk after a chilled food logistics firm, which operates in Rochdale, called in administrators on Friday (24 September).

EVCL Chill Ltd, which has headquarters in Derbyshire, delivers chilled foods to supermarkets such as Asda and Sainsbury’s.

The business employs 1,092 full time employees operating from warehouses and depots in key locations across the UK including Rochdale, Daventry, Alfreton, Crick, Bristol, and Penrith.

Administrators PwC said acute driver shortages throughout 2021 has added to its challenges.

The firm said 658 employees had been transferred to 'key customers' but the future for the remaining 400 was uncertain.

PwC said the administration does not affect the wider EV Cargo Group which continues to trade as before.

In the period to December 2020 turnover at the business exceeded £167m but EVCL Chill has struggled with a loss of a number of key customers and acute driver shortages during 2021, said PwC.

It said: “A number of sale options were explored but generated limited interest and management took the difficult decision to enter administration.”

Pwc added that “a number of roles have not been transferred” and remaining employees would be updated early this week.

Eddie Williams, joint administrator, said: “This has been a very difficult situation. As businesses move from survival mode to recovery, the financial climate is still very volatile.

“I am pleased that at least 658 roles will continue in a sector that is already facing many difficulties and challenges around inventory, personnel and the wider supply chain. Some vital continuity and stability has been ensured for a number of EVCL Chill’s stakeholders.

“We will continue to fully support all affected staff members during this difficult time.”

Helen Wheeler Jones, joint administrator, added: “We will also continue to liaise closely with customers on the key IT and transport requirements needed for them to fulfil orders, alongside other priority stakeholders including HMRC.”

Trade union Unite, which had over 500 members at the company, said it would be providing support to help affected workers and helping them find new work.

Unite national officer Matt Draper said: “EVCL Chill workers have lost their jobs without warning, through no fault of their own, and Unite will be assisting its members in every way possible in coping at this difficult time.”

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