War Memorial Gary Trouton

Grampian Country Food Group monthly Update

April 2005

A brief history of Grampian Foods

For many residents in Stoke Ferry, the name Grampian Country Food Group is linked with the feed mill situated in the heart of the village. Many local residents have asked for more information on the business and what other activities does it undertake in addition to the manufacturing of animal feed.

Grampian began as a small chicken farm at the foot of Bennachie, twenty miles to the north of Aberdeen, in the North East of Scotland, at the end of the 1970's. The business was managed by our founder and Chairman Fred Duncan, and at that time supplied local butcher shops with a small range of chicken products.

Due to various food legislations that were being imposed on the food industry at that time, and the requirements for larger premises to grow the business, a disused fish processing facility was acquired at Banff and converted into a chicken processing plant. In 1980 Grampian Country Food Group was established and by the end of its first year of trading Grampian employed 50 people and had a turnover of £1 million.

At this very early stage the vision of our Chairman was to establish a business which offered consumers a fully traceable product which they could trust. The objective at this early stage was to control all aspects of production from the sourcing of the ingredients be used in the poultry feeds, the hatching of eggs, the growing of the chickens, the processing operations, through to the distribution of the finished products to the customer base.

During the 1980's the growth of the supermarkets began to take hold and their place in the food supply chain was firmly established. Grampian saw this as an opportunity to grow and establish itself as a major food business by aligning itself with them. With the support of the management team Grampian implemented an acquisition strategy targeting loss making businesses which had a good "business fit" and would complement its objective of becoming a fully integrated food business.

By the end of the 1980's Grampian acquired its first non-poultry related company, and Grampian Country Pork was established. This comprised of a pork processing plant at Buckie, and a pig farming business at Muirden, both in the north east of Scotland. Beef and lamb businesses were acquired in the early 90's in Scotland and Wales and the move into added value chicken products took place in the mid 90's with the acquisition of Sovereign Foods and Favor Parker, this acquisition included the feed mill at Stoke Ferry. Further acquisitions in 2001 and 2003 led to Grampian acquiring international operations.

In all 20 acquisitions have been made since Grampian began. Combined with some organic growth the business now employs 25,000 people at over 45 operational bases throughout the UK, Portugal, the Netherlands and Thailand, and a combined group turnover of almost £2 billion. Grampian remains in private ownership with the Chairman being the majority shareholder.

Our core purpose still remains the same, "To provide consumers with high quality exciting foods that they can trust." Our portfolio of products has grown significantly and we are now major suppliers of chicken, pork, beef, lamb and turkey products to all the key retailers including Asda, Marks and Spencer, Morrisions, Sainsbury's, Somerfield, Tesco and we are growing our business with a number of foodservice customers including KFC, Welcome Break, Brakes, 3663, etc.

Alastair Inskip

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