Northern Foods Plc: Who, Where, How Much?
Northern Foods plc Head Office Beverley House St Stephen's Square Hull HU1 3XG
Telephone: 01482 325432 Fax: 01482 226136
Share value: Can be found at: www.northernfoods.com under 'financial information'.
Major Holders of Stock: Franklin Resources Inc - 11.86% Sprucegrove Investment Management Ltd - 5%
Accountants - Arthur Andersen
Merchant Bankers - NM Rothschild and Sons Ltd.
Stockbrokers - Hoave Govett Ltd and Cazenove & Co
PR officers: Tracy Pocklington and Helen Bray
Back to top Board of Directors
Company Secretary - Julian Wild Past President of Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce
Non Executive Director - Helen Alexander British Telecom Non-Executive Director Chief Executive of The Economist Group Member of the Ethics Committee of University College London Hospital Salary: £22,500
Non Executive Director - Colin Dyer Director of Worldwide Retail Exchange Former Chief executive of Courtaulds Textiles plc Salary: £22,500
Finance Director - Sean Christie Non-executive director of Kingston Communications (Hull) PLC Salary plus benefits: £263,873 Share options: £240,259
Deputy Chairman - Jonathan Fry Chairman of Christian Salvesen PLC, Elementis plc and Control Risk Group Holdings plc. Chairman of the Asia Pacific Advisory Committee of the Royal Institute of International Affairs Salary: £35,000
Chief Executive - Jo Stewart Previously held a number of senior posts at United Biscuits Salary plus benefits: £367,069 Share options: £468,211
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Non-Executive Chairman designate - Peter Blackburn Peter Blackburn, former head honcho at Nestle UK, has been appointed a non-executive Director and Chairman designate of Northern Foods plc with effect from 13 November 2001. A native Yorkshire-man, he will succeed Haskins as non-executive Chairman early in 2002. He retired in June 2001 as Chairman and Chief Executive of Nestlé UK and is currently head of UK industry lobby group, the Food and Drink Federation.
A graduate of Harvard Business School, he has worked in the food industry since joining Quality Street manufacturers, Mackintosh & Son in 1966.
President of the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers. Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. Fellow of the Institute of Grocery Distribution.
Peter Blackburn has recently been exposed as another ‘friend’ to small farmers in the Lord Haskins’ mould. The Guardian illustrated his part in persuading the British government not to vaccinate livestock during the Foot and Mouth disease crisis. Vaccination is the modern response to food and mouth disease, although it does entail the loss of a country’s ‘disease-free’ status i.e. it cannot export affected products for twelve months. Heat-treated meat off the bone can, however, be exported. In April 2001, the UK government was about to introduce a limited vaccination programme, but Blackburn and the National Farmer’s Union managed to force a complete turnaround in policy. This was because Nestle's profits would be damaged by the loss of exports of powdered milk. As a result, millions of uninfected animals were culled, burned and buried as part of a positively mediaeval and definitely unnecessary panic response.
Non-Executive Chairman (retiring 2002) - Baron Haskins of Skidby Chris Haskins joined Northern Foods in 1962 when it was still known as Northern Dairies. He became a director in 1967 and deputy chairman in 1974. He was executive chairman between 1987 and 1998. He became Non-Executive Chairman in 1998 doing one day a week at Northern Foods.
Lord Haskins currently lives in Skidby, East Riding, Yorkshire where he owns an 800 acre wheat and barley farm. He has three sons and two daughters.
He was made a life peer in June 1998 by Tony Blair.
Current Direct Corporate Interests:
Non-executive Director, Express Dairies plc Non-executive Director, JSR Farms Ltd Non-executive Director, Northern Foods plc
See Corporate Crimes section for more information on these companies.
In 1998 he got a 16% pay rise from Northern Foods, to £208,479 (plus share options than gained him £380,388). He holds shares in Northern Foods that were worth £3.28 million in 1998. He also received a £104,000 salary from Express Dairies (and held shares worth £820,000 in 1999).
Salary plus benefits: £88,626 Shares: 1,437,536
Back to top b) Northern Foods Organisational Structure
By all accounts, Northern Foods is a fairly progressive employer. It is a member of the Race for Opportunity, working to promote ethnic minority businesses. It is part of the ‘Employers for Work - Life balance’ scheme, and a case study on their website highlights progressive policies like flexi-time, job-sharing, paternity leave, and the on-site nursery and holiday play scheme. One former management employee confirmed this, ‘Northern Foods is a nice company to work for, and Haskins is an honourable man who cares about his employees’.
It is also working on energy reduction and waste minimisation policies with DETR, and the Food and Drink Federation on a Climate Change levy.
Northern Foods spent £441,000 on charitable donations during 2000. This funded local projects, as well as Oxfam and One World Action. This, of course, is fairly ironic, considering the fact that industrial agriculture is destroying food security, and creating hunger and poverty world- wide.
They also fund a scholarship at Nottingham University for an undergraduate degree in food sciences.
Back to top c) Subsidiaries
For more info and addresses see: www.northern-foods.co.uk/graduates/where_we_are.htm
• George Payne & Co www.paynes.co.uk
Paynes supply chocolate and sugar confectionery, along with instant flavoured teas. It was acquired in the summer of 1998. Employing approximately 180 people at its manufacturing facility in Croydon, their well-known products include the Poppets and Just Brazils chocolates and Lift instant lemon tea.
• Fox’s Confectionery
In May 2001 Northern Foods acquired the Fox's and 'XXX' confectionery brands from Nestlé, together with associated manufacturing facilities in Leicester.
Batchelors, acquired in 1986, employs over 270 people at its plants in Dublin and Athy, Co Kildare. It is brand leader in the highly competitive baked beans and processed peas market in the Republic of Ireland. The company also enjoys similar success with its Squeez and Amigo fruit juice ranges. This company has nothing to do with Batchelors Soup and packet foods which is owned by Campbell Soups.
• NFT Distribution Website: www.nft.co.uk
NFT is one of the largest chilled distribution businesses in the UK. It employs over 1,200 people and state of the art IT to provide nation-wide primary distribution for Northern Foods companies and other food manufacturers, and contract warehousing and distribution services for major retailers, as well as manufacturers including Cargill owned chicken factory, Sun Valley. Its 250 articulated vehicles cover over half a million kilometres each week. Its website has handy maps of all Northern Foods distribution depots.
They are involved with Business in the Community and Gerry Sutton, Commercial Director of NFT Distribution is on the DTI’s Foresight Panel on Food Chain and Crops for Industry.
In June 2001, Bolsover District Council instigated legal proceedings against NFT distribution for breaches of Health and Safety legislation.
• Dalepak Foods www.dalepak.co.uk
Set up in 1976, Dalepak are another pioneer in fatty salty processed foods. With factories at Leeming Bar and Hull (Dalepak Bakery), these sites produce grillsteaks, burgers and pastry products under the own labels of leading retailers including Tesco, Sainsbury's, Safeway and Asda. They also produce pastry products under licence for Heinz. They also produce the Dalepak and Ross brands. Also part of this group is Emile Tissot Foods, in Telford, manufacturing frozen ready meals for pubs, hotels and restaurants.
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• Green Isle Food Group
Green Isle is the leading Irish frozen food company, and a fast growing supplier to major UK retailers. Employing over 1,000 people, it produces a range of pizzas, pastry products and fish lines under the Goodfella's, Green Isle and Donegal Catch brands, as well as retailers' own labels. Billcrest Products and Elduff Investments are also part of this group.
• Elkes Biscuits
Employing over 1,400 people, Uttoxeter based, Elkes Biscuits, produces a wide range of cheap sweet and semi sweet biscuits mainly under retailers' own labels. In addition, Elkes manufactures Farley's rusks under contract.
• Fox's Biscuits www.foxs-biscuits.co.uk
Fox's Biscuits, which has two large factories at Batley, West Yorkshire and Kirkham near Blackpool, became part of Northern Foods in 1977. It currently employs over 1,900 people and manufactures a wide range of premium quality biscuits, with brands including Rocky, Classic and Echo. It also produces a range of own-label products, principally for Marks and Spencer and other top high street retailers along with other major high street retailers. In addition to its substantial and buoyant home trade, Fox's has significant export business, and a wide range of lines under the Fox's label is now shipped world-wide.
Vanderheul, the small Dutch biscuit manufacturer acquired in 1993, supplies retailers in the low countries and Germany and produces a number of Continental lines for the Fox's assortment range
• Eden Vale www.munchbunch.co.uk
Eden Vale, acquired in 1992, is the UK's leading manufacturer of fresh chilled dairy products. It has factories at Cuddington and Minsterley employing over 600 people, producing yogurts, desserts, cream, cottage cheese and fromage frais under the Ski, Munch Bunch and Eden Vale brands and under retailers' own labels.
• Smiths Flour Mills www.smiths-flour-mills.co.uk
Acquired in 1972, Smiths Flour Mills employs over 160 people at its three mills, supplying wheat and other flours to Northern Foods companies and other major food manufacturers plus a growing number of ethnic baking concerns.
• Rawmarsh Foods
Rawmarsh Foods is based near Rotherham, employs over 300 people and produces desserts exclusively for Marks and Spencer.
• Matthew Walker
Matthew Walker joined the group in 1992 and employs over 200 people at its Derby-based site. It is the UK's market leader in Christmas puddings and supplies its high quality products to all retail multiples in this country, and exports puddings around the world. It also enjoys great success with its own brand.
• Park Cakes
Park Cakes employs in excess of 1,600 people at its sites in Oldham and Bolton. It is the UK's leading supplier of own label cakes to the major retailers, producing a range of ambient, chilled and frozen foods. Other companies include West country Frozen Foods and TodayUltra Ltd.
• Gunstones Bakery and La Baguette Doree
Acquired in 1971, Gunstones Bakery is a dedicated Marks and Spencer plant producing a wide range of products including sandwiches, sushi and speciality bakery lines, and employs over 1,600 people and its two sites in Dronfield and Barnsley.
• Fletchers Bakery, Grain D’Or and Kara Foods
Fletchers Bakeries was acquired in 1999. Employing over 600 people, producing a wide range of fresh and frozen bread, rolls and speciality bakery products including burger buns, doughnuts and scones, it operates from a modern and well-invested bakery in Sheffield. Customers include most of the UK's leading food retailers and food service businesses.
Speciality bread business, Kara Foods acquired in 1991, employs over 200 people. They are one of the UK's leading suppliers of burger buns supplying fresh products daily to key fast food customers, and frozen products to catering and retail outlets.
• Cavaghan and Gray
Acquired early in 1998 with sites in Carlisle, Aberdeen and Grimsby, Cavaghan & Gray employs over 2,000 people and produces products including potato topped pies, quiches, recipe dishes, crispbakes and party foods mainly for Marks and Spencer. The site at Aberdeen deals with the procurement and processing of vegetables and fish for other group companies. The site in Grimsby produces coated fish products, in addition to supplying wet fish for Marks and Spencer.
Other companies listed in "Who Owns Whom" : Edmonds Eccles Cakes, Fleur De Lys Pies, Garratts of Hertford, Manorcroft, Melwood Investments, Minsterley Cremeries; Lanraye Frozen Foods, Rylands Butchers, Norman Peat, TN Parr Ltd, DreamPhoto; DreamPlayer; DressAdmire, Evfi Ltd; Northern Foods Quest Ltd and Square Investments.
 unless stated otherwise, information from Northern Foods Annual Report 2000: www.northern-foods.co.uk/shareholders/images/pdf/REPORT00.PDF  Hollis PR directory 2000  ‘Nestle Chief to head Food manufacturers in 2000’. Food and Drink Federation press release 2 December 1999.  ibid.  ibid.  Food lobby forced PM into u-turn on plan for vaccination’ by John Vidal and Peter Hetherington.The Guardian, Saturday 8th September 2001.  Listed in the House of Lords - Register of Interests  www.red-star-research.org.uk  pers.comm with former employee of Northern Foods.  www.northern-foods.co.uk/shareholders/images/pdf/REPORT00.PDF  www.nottingham.ac.uk/biosciences/foodsci/nfoodscholarship.html www.nft.co.uk/ind-futu  www.literacytrust.org.uk/Pubs/nft.html  www.bolsover.gov.uk/committee/executive/minutes/110601exec.pdf