Hauliers set to lose out after administration of poultry supplier
Following the bankruptcy of Doux, Europe’s largest poultry processor, approximately 200 small road haulage firms located in the Brittany region of western France face an uncertain future.
The reason for the uncertainty is Doux were a major, and in some cases only customer of the road haulage firms.
Doux were recently placed under judicial administration until the end of the year. It is believed that they owe their suppliers, including haulage contractors, tens of millions of euros.
The hauliers’ performed a range of activities for Doux including transporting feedstock to the group’s production plants and distributing finished goods to supermarkets and for export.
The hauliers who are considered to be among Doux’s strategic suppliers have obtained assurances that they will be paid from now on a weekly basis. This was decided after discussions with the judicial administrators and state officials.
However, there has been little or no information regarding when the money already owed to hauliers will be paid.
Doux has protected its immediate future after receiving the necessary cash flow to guarantee its day-to-day running last week. However, a spokesman for Doux admitted that the group is still in ‘a tense situation.’
The spokesman said that negotiations were continuing in order to find the full capital necessary to see Doux through its six-month period under court protection and pay off arrears to suppliers. These suppliers also include an estimated 800 poultry breeders.
The judicial administrators and the government favour a move to find a buyer for Doux. However, the risk involved with this approach is that it could lead to the dismantling of the group.
Also affected by Doux’s bankruptcy are Brittany’s ports, particularly Brest, which is Europe’s leading port for exports of frozen meat. Brest port handled over 226,000 tonnes of poultry shipments last year, of which 161,000 tonnes were accounted for by Doux.
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