Fresh produce supplier has closed its doors and appointed administrators

Tomatoes are Gomez's main product

Tomatoes are Gomez’s main product

Kent fresh produce supplier Gomez has ceased trading.

The Canterbury-based business informed staff of its closure last week and has appointed administrators, it has been confirmed.

On 15 December Glen Carter and Terence Guy Jackson of RSM UK Restructuring Advisory LLP were announced as joint administrators.

Management at Gomez has not responded to FPJ’s requests for comment, however prior to the appointment of administrators a staff member at the company told this publication that the business was “closing”.

KentOnline reported that it had seen a letter to staff from managing director Raquel Hernandez confirming the news.

“It is with regret that I have to inform you that, with effect from Friday, December 8, A Gomez Limited will cease trading,” Hernandez wrote. “As most of you are aware, the business has been encountering many financial challenges following the loss of its business since undertaking a gradual wind-down of its operations over recent weeks.

“Unfortunately the financial pressures on the business have meant that the shareholders and directors of the company have had to take the reluctant decision to cease operations with immediate effect.”

Financial struggles

Gomez’s most recent accounts, for the year to 30 September 2022, underline its financial struggles. It posted a significant reduction in turnover during the period, from £167m to £133.8m. At the same time, the company suffered a pre-tax loss of £415,914 in 2021/22, compared to a pre-tax profit of £1.1m in 2020/21.

Hernandez wrote in the financial report that the 19.9 per cent reduction in sales was “due to lost contracts during a business reset carried out by our customers and the removal of some non-profit-generating depots”.

She said the fall in gross profit margin to 4.75 per cent in 2021/22, against 5.91 per cent in 2020/21, was a “disappointing result” caused in part by the oversupply of some crops versus customer demand.

Market observers say the massive shortfalls in salads out of Spain due to bad weather in early 2023 will have made things even more difficult for Gomez.

This article was updated on 19 December to confirm the appointment of administrators.