Chitty Food Group has announced business as usual just weeks after a fire gutted offices at its Guildford boning plant.

The beef and lamb business, which supplies M&S, independents and foodservice operators, said it had switched processing to Basildon, which is now at full capacity and the subject of a £500,000 upgrade.

"We won't let anybody down - when I spoke to the packing plant, it said it was on 100% service," said MD Andrew Chitty, adding that the company was performing strongly after a 20% annual upturn in sales."

He admitted however that the fire had been a major blow after a difficult year for the business, which had been hit by the foot and mouth outbreak.

"We lost two weeks of production because we're only three miles from Pirbright," he said, adding that the government should be held to account. "If I leaked a load of pollution into a stream I'd be liable, and I think the government should be, too."