Avara Foods announces proposals to close its duck business

Avara Foods announces proposals to close its duck business

Avara Foods is currently considering closing its duck business, Cherry Valley Foods, following a significant drop in sales and foodservice closures during the coronavirus pandemic.

The business, currently operating out of Caistor in Lincolnshire, is now set to enter a consultation period to determine the next steps and timescales.

Cherry Valley Foods was purchased in 2015 and enabled Avara Foods to become the only producer of British chicken, turkey and duck.

However, in a statement, Avara said: “…external market conditions have become increasingly challenging with feed costs, feather pricing and European competition all combining to put the business under immense pressure.”

“Despite investment in the business and the best efforts of all involved, the market has reached the point where the business is no longer sustainable, with no clear route to recovery.”

While not causes in themselves, Avara says recent developments with Brexit and Covid-19 have exacerbated the situation, particularly the significant drop in sales volumes as a result of catering and food service closures.

While these challenges may be temporary, the company says the underlying market conditions seriously undermine the viability of the business.

Andy Dawkins, chief executive at Avara Foods, said: “This has been an incredibly difficult decision and one that reflects a market that has gradually deteriorated over several years.  Despite investment in the business and the best efforts of all involved, the market has reached the point where the business is no longer sustainable, with no clear route to recovery.

“We are now committed to a meaningful consultation process and, if our proposal goes ahead, providing the necessary support to everyone affected and a smooth transition with all our trading partners.”

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