Lincolnshire sugar beet harvester M&J Haulage has called in administrators from KPMG, with operations suspended and all 24 staff sent home.

The company, which harvests and hauls beet on behalf of Associated British Foods-owned British Sugar and a number of independent growers, was hit by reduced contract volumes leading to a slump in profitability and subsequent cashflow issues, KPMG said.

Chris Pole and Mark Orton were appointed as joint administrators to Snelland-based M&J Haulage Ltd last week.

With growing creditor pressure, the inability to obtain further funding and in the absence of any committed increase in long-term orders, KPMG deemed that a viable business no longer existed. Operations on site have been suspended and all employees sent home while the joint administrators assess the options available.

“The company had recently seen a decline in its order book, which led to significant pressure on its cashflow,” Pole said.

“Over the coming days, we will be assessing options for the business, including the possibility of resuming operations, while we explore a sale of the business and its assets.”

M&J Haulage operated as an agricultural contracting business, specialising in the cultivation of sugar beet and other arable crops. The company grows its own crops while also providing contract farming and haulage services to other customers in the East Midlands.

A statement by the NFU said it was “saddened and disappointed” to learn the business has gone into administration. “The business is highly regarded by growers for its professionalism and the service it has offered – and it is therefore unfortunate that a commercial solution has not been found to date,” the organisation added.