Tue, 18 May 2021 | ADMINISTRATION
Pioneering prawn farming firm Great British Prawns has fallen into administration due to the impact of COVID-19. Johnston Carmichael restructuring director Graeme Bain, who has been appointed as joint administrator of the firm, said that administrators would now seek to realise value from its assets.
The company, which was founded in Balfron, Stirlingshire in 2019, claimed to be the first sustainable producer of land-based, clean water prawns in the world. The firm developed aquaculture technology and utilised sustainable energy to farm warm water king prawns.
At the time, it said that the majority of UK firms sourced frozen king prawns from Asia and Central America and that its business model would be more sustainable by eliminating air miles and freezing from the process.
However, a large proportion of the company’s first batch of imported juvenile prawns were found to be infected with the IHHNV virus and had to be destroyed. Then, less than a year after starting, the COVID-19 pandemic saw the closure of the firm’s main hospitality market.
Despite attempting to find alternative income streams, including home deliveries, the loss of most of its restaurant trade forced the company to cease operations before it appointed administrators.
Joint administrator Graeme Bain said: "Unfortunately the business had already ceased to trade prior to the appointment of administrators, and the majority of employees had been placed on furlough. Regrettably, with no ongoing trade, all 18 jobs at the business have been lost.”
“With the vast majority of demand for the company’s product coming from the hospitality industry, COVID restrictions undoubtedly had a significant impact on the business.”
Great British Prawns operated from a new 1,500 square metre farm. The site was capable of farming up to a million fresh prawns in more than 300 tonnes of water.
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