Cranswick and Tulip have bolstered their pig supply bases with the purchase of 18,000 pigs from the administrators of one of the UK’s biggest pig producers, Dent.

Dent entered administration on 2 December. This afternoon, administrators Deloitte revealed a total of 18,000 pigs, together with associated assets, were sold to Cranswick and Tulip on 19 and 20 December.

The pigs that were bought by Cranswick and Tulip represent only a partial sale of the Dent business, which encompasses 100,000 pigs across 80 farms.

The administrators would “continue to trade out the remainder of the business and will continue to negotiate with a number of interested parties,” Deloitte said in a statement.

Dent is a major supplier of outdoor-reared, high-welfare pigs that provide pork sold under Sainsbury’s top-tier Taste the Difference brand.

In December, Sainsbury’s reassured consumers that supply of Taste the Difference pork was safe, despite Dent’s entry into administration.

Administrators Adrian Berry and Clare Boardman were appointed on 2 December 2013 and the business has continued trading under their stewardship.

Neither Cranswick nor Tulip was immediately available for comment.