Bronte Foods, which produces both raw and cooked poultry products for Asda, Pukka Pies and Green Isle Foods, has called in receivers as a result of growing losses.

The company, which employs more than 400 people at three sites in Yorkshire, has blamed the losses on competition from cheap chicken imports. The company invested nearly £2m (US$3.57m) in its production operation in 2001 but has struggled to compete with imports from Brazil and Thailand. Losses over the last two years have amounted to £3m.

Administrative receivers from accountants Ernst & Young said they were encouraged by the level of interest they had received from potential buyers. They had already met with interested parties and two potential bidders were flying in from overseas. The receivers said it was possible that the factories could be sold off separately.