Workers laid off as food firm collapses

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A SOUTH Yorkshire food distribution centre has laid off 81 workers after its parent company was forced to go into administration.

Staff were sent home from the DBC Foodservice plant on the Manvers industrial estate near Wath-on-Dearne.

The remaining 85 workers have been told to keep reporting for work for the time being, but are believed to be just clearing out the premises.

The firm - previously known as the Danish Bacon Company - is a wholesaler which distributes foodstuffs to large concerns such as airports, prisons, schools, the catering industry, hotels and high street restaurant chains.

The Manvers site is one of 11 depots around the country.

DBC was put up for sale last week but was forced into administration after it failed to find a buyer. The company recorded a £4.95m loss in its latest accounts and has been plagued by recent cash flow and supply problems.

One member of staff, who has been asked to stay on at the Manvers centre for the time being, said staff there were paid weekly.

“We’ve been told there will be no pay for us for last week or this,” said the worker.

“It seems we will be paid by the administrators at some point but just to empty the warehouse. Then I think they will release us as and when we are not needed any more.”

He added: “The first time we were aware something was wrong was when we looked in the warehouse - normally there are around 500 orders on pallets waiting to be delivered.

“Recently that number had shrunk to around 50.

“Something’s gone drastically wrong. People are going to suffer - the wages aren’t especially high in the first place and many of the people here have wives, families and mortgages. Not many are going to have savings to fall back on.”

Russell Cash, for administrators Baker Tilly, said: “DBC is a very well established business which has enjoyed a great reputation over a prolonged period. It is obviously very disappointing to see the company enter into administration. We had been looking for a buyer of the business as a whole.

“We are now in discussions with a number of interested parties, some of which are at an advanced stage. We are hopeful that we will be able to secure a future for certain areas of the business.”

DBC nationally is based in Welwyn Garden City and employs 982 people.