By Daniel Hunter

More than 100 food suppliers in the UK could collapse as a result of falling supermarket prices, according to a new report.

Insolvency specialists Begbies Traynor said there are more companies facing financial distress in the industry than any other.

The study found that the number of firms in "significant distress" had doubled in the final quarter of 2014.

Around 4,550 food suppliers are struggling financially, compared with 2,878 last year. Those in "significant distress" also doubled.

Small businesses have been the worst affected. There was a 61% rise in the number of small food retailers struggling financially, and a 113% in the number of small food and drink manufacturers suffering the same troubles.

"Unless the supermarkets start treating their suppliers more fairly and find longer term solutions to their cost cutting exercise, we expect that more than 100 of these 1410 significantly distressed food and beverage suppliers will fall into administration before the year is up," said Julie Palmer, a partner at Begbies Traynor.

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