Specialist UK tomato grower Sterling Suffolk has been rescued after soaring energy prices forced it into administration.

The company, which traded a glasshouse operation from its site at Blakenham Nursery, Bramford, Suffolk, brought in administrators on 29 March following a downturn in trading.

“Unfortunately, the company has had to contend with a number of issues which have affected both trading and cashflow,” joint administrator Andrew Kelsall commented. “The latest and final aspect was the significant increase and uncertainty in energy prices.

“Whilst a third party sale, as a going concern, was desirable, this has not been possible.”

However, upon being placed into administration, the company has been sold to Amberside ALP – the company’s prime investor.

David Scrivens of Amberside ALP commented: “This has been a difficult time and decision for both Sterling Suffolk Limited and also for the investors in Amberside ALP.

“Amberside ALP is going to continue where Sterling Suffolk left off, growing tomatoes for the local community and for supermarkets. The environmental aspects of the nursery attracted the investors through Amberside ALP and it is our intention to maintain and improve on this.”

The administrator said it had liaised with independent body the Pre Pack Pool and obtained the required clearance to proceed with the purchase.

In the interim it said it would fund future trading and recommence operations as soon as possible.