Preva Produce Ltd was also behind the Jazzy brand

Preva Produce, a potato supplier for the likes of Walkers and Kettle, has fallen into administration after a difficult end to 2016, leading to 20 redundancies.

Administrators at Price Bailey have agreed the sale of the business’ 29,000 sq ft packing facility in Norfolk to an unnamed buyer and are marketing the remaining assets.

It is not known at present whether the jobs of the remaining 11 staff will be saved.

Preva Produce was established in 2001 as an integrated potato business, producing chipping and crisping potatoes for blue-chip customers such as Walkers, Kettle, Asda and Morrisons. It also supplies salad potatoes under the Jazzy brand to Co-op.

Significant cashflow pressures had led to difficult trading conditions in recent months, a statement from joint administrators Matt Howard and Stuart Morton, who were appointed to Preva Produce Ltd on 20 December, said.

Operations at the packing hub in Snetterton have been suspended since November because of “cash constraints” as Price Bailey sought a rescue package for the business.

Sales in 2014 rebounded to £11.6m, compared with £10.9m in 2013, with profits up £150k to more than £400k, according to the last set of accounts filed at Companies House. The report said the business had battled against a backdrop of depressed prices, over production and a retail market which had diminished year on year. However, its Jazzy brand performed well in the wholesale and retail sectors.

“The management team are working with Price Bailey to review the company’s position and to formulate a strategy,” Price Bailey insolvency partner Matt Howard said. “Unfortunately, it has been necessary to make 20 redundancies, leaving 11 staff remaining.”

Joint administrator Stuart Morton added: “We are keen to talk to any interested parties for other parts of the business. Whilst the future of the business is uncertain it is always our preference to save the business and secure as many jobs as possible.”