Farming leaders welcome Banham Poultry rescue deal - but want clarity on creditors

Chicks being reared for Banham Poultry. Picture: Ian Burt

Chicks being reared for Banham Poultry. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

Farming leaders have welcomed the sale which secures Banham Poultry's future within East Anglia's 'hugely important' chicken industry – but asked for more clarity over money owed to creditors.

The deal to sell the Attleborough firm to major chicken producer Chesterfield Poultry, in a pre-pack administration, was confirmed on Friday night after three days of negotiations to save more than 1,000 jobs at the firm.

But Banham chief executive Martyn Bromley acknowledged the sale meant creditors are unlikely to receive all the money owed to them, as the structure of the deal leaves behind the debts of the failed company and moves the assets to a new company, Banham Poultry (2018).

Gary Ford, chief poultry adviser for the National Farmers' Union (NFU), said: 'The poultry industry is hugely important in East Anglia, producing around a quarter of the country's chicken, so this will be welcome news for the sector and the people employed at Banham Poultry.

'Chickens should now start to be collected from farms in the area, which will be a relief to our farmer members supplying the site.

'What is unclear is the situation facing NFU members who may be creditors of the previous company and we'll be seeking clarification from the administrators on this. We would urge any NFU members with concerns to contact us for help and advice.'

Following the announcement of the deal on Friday evening, Banham boss Mr Bromley said 'the spirit is to do our best with all the creditors', adding: 'I understand there's some money to help with that but it's not always affordable to do all the full amounts.'