Bleiker’s Smokehouse, which recently entered administration, is under investigation for food fraud after it was dropped by Aldi as a supplier for its UK stores.
The Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) is investigating the company over “a number of alleged issues, including concerns about their country of origin claims on some of their smoked salmon products.”
One arrest has been made
Gavin Wafer, the head of investigation at the NFCU, revealed that the agency “acted on intelligence it received and which has resulted in one arrest being made.” “It is vitally important that we ensure food is safe and what it says it is, and that consumers and food businesses are confident in the authenticity of food they are buying,” he added.
The family-run company based in North Yorkshire had over 80 members of staff and supplied salmon products to major supermarkets in the UK, including Aldi, Sainsbury’s Tesco and Waitrose, as well as multiple local stores.
Bleiker’s Smokehouse appointed administrators from business advisory firm FRP on Friday 29th April, with all remaining company employees being made redundant, as it ceased trading.
“Bleiker’s was a family operation with a track record of supporting both major and independent retailers. The loss of a significant contract left the business in a difficult financial position. Regrettably, the insolvency has meant that the business is no longer able to continue trading and redundancies have been made,” Martyn Pullin, partner at FRP, said.
The smokehouse was dropped as a supplier for Aldi’s UK stores back in April, with the supermarket chain remaining silent over the abrupt termination of its relationship with the supplier. At the time, when SalmonBusiness reached out to Bleiker’s Smokehouse for comment, an employee said they were unable to discuss the situation. Aldi similarly declined to comment via email or phone.
In its latest filing with Companies House, Bleiker’s Smokehouse reported sales revenue of £14.1 million (€16.9 million) for the 12 months ended 30 April 2021, versus £20.5 million (€24.5 million) for the year ended 30 April 2020.