NI burger meat supplier calls in administrators

Millar Savoury Foods, the Northern Irish pie and burger supplier, has gone into administration, blaming an inability to pass rising costs on to supermarket customers.

The family-run Londonderry company supplies Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, as well as foodservice across the UK and Republic of Irealand.

Administrator Ronan Duffy of McCambridge Duffy has been called in to “actively pursue options to sell the business as a whole”. He confirmed that 36 employees’ jobs are now at risk.

Duffy said: “While it is early days in my investigation, a significant factor contributing to the company’s insolvency is how fiercely competitive the food sector is. The company appears to have been unable to pass on commodity price increases to its customers, the supermarket multiples.”

Millar Savoury Foods was established as a butcher’s shop in 1969, but soon extended its operation into making sausages, burgers, pies, sausage rolls, Scotch eggs and cottage pies and launched two new brands, Mulligan’s Munchers and Millfarm in 2007.

It collaborated with chef Paul Rankin for a new range of pies in 2009, which helped it to a 21% hike in turnover and grow its business with the UK multiples.

The company is understood to have debts of about £500,000.