VBites, the UK plant-based mock-meats company run by the vegan entrepreneur and former model Heather Mills, has gone into administration after failing to secure new funding. In 2007, Mills bought Redwood Wholefood, which was founded in 1993, and changed its name to VBites, since then producing chilled foods such as vegan sausages, plant-based roasts, meat-free bacon rashes, fish-free stakes, plant-based pepperoni slices, and vegan cheeses.
As far as the reasons for this outcome are concerned, Mille said to the Guardian, “Brexit has been an utter disaster for the supply and maintenance of the sector and the government doubtless has a lot to answer for. So do the opportunistic utility companies and their broker networks, that through an array of nefarious practices now under investigation have hiked up prices so that companies simply cannot afford to operate…VBites ultimately fell victim to the galvanised misinformation currently being undertaken by the meat and dairy industries as well as the corporate greed in our market…This is extremely distressing for me on a personal level but also for my wonderfully loyal and hard-working staff. My team and I have undertaken 30 years of product creation and evolution as well as personally investing tens of millions of pounds into the business and offering every solution I feasibly could to keep it going, but sadly mine and my staff’s efforts have been thwarted by a demand that I stepped away from day to day management, in order to secure essential investment.”
The company operates from Peterlee, County Durham, and Corby, Northamptonshire. The administrators said they would continue to trade from the site in Peterlee while they sought a buyer, with the 29 members of staff based at the Peterlee and 25 at the Corby being retained, and 24 employees being made redundant.