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Chilled foods distributor to Asda and Sainsbury’s on brink of collapse

A food distribution business is on the brink of going into administration, putting 1,000 people’s jobs at risk.

According to reports refrigeration business, EVCL Chill, could cease trading, which would affect supermarkets across the UK, including Sainsbury’s and Asda.

Talks are ongoing to resolve the issues, however, Brexit, the covid pandemic and a shortage of drivers are all being touted as the reason for the issues.

The business which is part of the bigger logistics company EV Cargo, has been in talks with customers (supermarkets) about contingency plans to keep supply chains flowing.

There is hope that these talks could mean job losses are avoided by the company, which was only brought out of a previous administration last year by EV Cargo.

The refrigeration logistical company was previously known as NFT Distribution

Sky News reports that PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is being lined up as an administrator for the company, which was previously known as NFT Distribution.

It has been suggested the company is struggling due to ongoing issues with driver shortages, as well as supply chain costs, but the exact details behind the predicament are unclear.

Its parent company, EV Cargo, which is itself owned by Emergevest, is not in financial difficulty.

EV Cargo and PwC both declined to comment when contacted by our sister title Derbyshire Live about the reports.

It comes as supermarkets and suppliers try to grapple with issues that could lead to shortages of products in shops.

This includes a lack of HGV drivers and a nationwide shortage of carbon dioxide, which is used in the production and packaging of food items.

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Iceland managing director Richard Walker has said that food shortages could happen in just weeks.

Mr Walker said: “This is no longer about whether or not Christmas will be OK, it’s about keeping the wheels turning and the lights on so we can actually get to Christmas.

“This could become a problem over the coming days and weeks, so this is not an issue that’s months away.”

The major issue supermarkets face is that the country does not have enough skilled HGV drivers to staff delivery lorries.

The driver shortage is said to be due to a mixture of the Covid pandemic and Brexit.

The lack of workers has been impacting food businesses up and down the country, with many forced to take items off the menu in recent months.

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