Last updated: September 25, 2013
September 23, 2013
Pictured: Catherine Brown, CEO of the FSA; Ranjit Singh, CEO of 2 Sisters Food Group and Neil Khandke, Group Technical Director, 2 Sisters Food Group
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Lab opening puts food safety first for 2 Sisters
Food manufacturing giant 2 Sisters Food Group has officially a new £1m food safety laboratory, where almost one million food samples will be tested each year.
The laboratory – based at Nottingham’s BioCity Laurus site – was officially opened today (Monday September 23) by the CEO of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) Catherine Brown. The lab has created 20 new jobs, bolstering the workforce to 60 at the Pennyfoot Street site.
Up to 16,000 samples a week are tested at the facility, with samples coming from 2 Sisters food manufacturing sites all over the UK. A wide variety of products that are ready to eat and ready to cook are tested, ranging from biscuits, ready meals, pizzas to salads.
The samples are first logged into an automated laboratory information management system. From there, a number of tests are carried out by the team of microbiologists, dependent on the nature of the product.
Some samples will be placed in automated machinery for scanning for the relevant bacteria, while others will be placed in agar to see what grows.
Each product made by 2 Sisters has a microbiological specification and scientists at the BioCity labs make sure the samples match up. The specification is determined either by customer taste or even by law.
The results are placed back on the system to be read remotely by the originating factory.
Ranjit Singh, CEO of 2 Sisters Food Group, said: “I’m delighted Catherine Brown has joined us to open this new laboratory. This facility underlines our total commitment to producing world-class food products and ensuring that what we produce not only tastes great, but is safe to eat.
“We have invested a substantial sum in this lab, and as our business grows, there will be an increasing need to ensure quality and safety go hand-in-hand. It’s what the British consumer demands, and what we demand as a world-class manufacturer.”
Catherine Brown added: “It’s a great pleasure to open this new laboratory. Food safety is of paramount importance to any food business and I am very impressed by the energy and commitment 2 Sisters Food Group has shown by developing and building this state of the art facility.”
Neil Khandke, Group Technical Director, explained: “Food standards in the UK and Europe are extremely high. Our facilities are regularly inspected and reviewed by our customers and by our own teams here at BioCity and also by the authorities.
“Our sites operate to very high standards and the testing we do in BioCity is the final verification that all the things in place in our factories are actually working as they should be.
“The products tested here will be tested to verify that there are no problems with them. Obviously, it allows us if we see things, to take action should we need to and remove those products.”
The new labs, double the size of the previous lab, also in Nottingham, have created 20 new jobs and there is room to grow by taking on new microbiologists.
They are led by nationally respected food microbiologist, Fiona Brookes, who the company inherited from Northern Foods.
September 1, 2013
2 Sisters Food Group appoints Dame Lucy Neville-Rolfe as Non-Executive Director
2 Sisters Food Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Dame Lucy Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG as a Non-Executive Director, effective from today.
Dame Lucy brings a wealth of experience to this new position. She served on the Board of Tesco PLC as Executive Director of Corporate & Legal Affairs from 2006 until January this year.
Prior to her distinguished 15-year career at Tesco, she served as Director of the Deregulation Unit, BIS (then DTI) and Cabinet Office from 1995 to 1997 and was a Member of Prime Minister John Major’s Policy Unit from 1992 to 1994. She was a Member of the Senior Civil Service and also served in DEFRA (then MAFF).
Sir Charles Allen, Chairman of 2 Sisters Food Group, said: “I am delighted that Dame Lucy is joining us. She is without question one of Britain’s most respected and well known business women and it is a real coup for us to have her in the Board team.
“She brings unrivalled experience to 2 Sisters and her expertise and counsel will be invaluable as we look to continue to grow the business and realise our ambition of becoming one of the world’s best food companies.”
Dame Lucy said: “This is a great time to be joining the Board at 2 Sisters and I’m very excited at the prospect of working again in a sector I know very well.
“I am looking forward to working closely with Sir Charles Allen, CEO Ranjit Singh and the rest of the team as we continue to build the business and deliver on our strategic objectives.”
In 2012, Dame Lucy was made a dame in the Queen’s Birthday honours’ list.
In August this year, she was named as a Conservative life peer.
Dame Lucy joins current 2 Sisters Food Group non executives - Sir Charles Allen (Chairman); Andrew Cripps (Chairman, Audit Committee); David Gregory (Chairman, Safety & Governance Committee); Mark Hunter (Chairman, Renumeration Committee).
August 19, 2013
New structure announced at 2 Sisters Food Group
2 Sisters Food Group has today announced changes to its leadership structure.
Two new roles have been created that will report directly to CEO Ranjit Singh – Chief Operating Officer (COO), Protein and Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chilled, Ambient and Frozen.
Current Group Procurement & Supply Chain Director Chris Walker has been appointed to role of COO, Chilled, Ambient and Frozen.
Walker takes full responsibility for chilled, ready meals, biscuits, bakery and frozen trading divisions and will retain his current remit for procurement and supply chain.
Divisional Managing Directors Colin Smith (Biscuits); Eddie Power (Frozen); Simon Wookey (Chilled) and Veepul Patel (Bakery) will now report directly to Chris.
The business is currently recruiting for a COO, Protein – a role which encompasses all poultry, added value poultry and red meat operations in the UK and Holland.
Divisional Managing Directors Aart Voets (European Poultry), Steve Ellis (UK & 2 Sisters Poultry), Jose Peralta (Red Meat) and Olivier Goudineau (Added Value) will eventually report to the COO, Protein.
The new structure is effective from Monday August 19th 2013.
CEO Ranjit Singh said: “As our business grows, I am keen to ensure we have a team that is responsive to our customers’ needs and is shaped in a way that is fit for the future.
“Therefore, I am making these changes to the senior leadership team because it strengthens the business and puts the customer even closer to the heart of everything we do. These new roles will help give greater focus to our operational delivery and bring additional expertise within our product categories.
“This promotion for Chris is well deserved. He has had an outstanding 32-year career within retail, starting at Asda before working for almost 20 years at Morrisons. As Senior Trading Director for Fresh Foods at Morrisons, he was instrumental in developing their vertical integration manufacturing model.”
July 22, 2013
2 Sisters Food Group backs up new innovation & investment for the future of farming
One of Britain’s biggest food producers has today announced its full support of a new graduate scheme which is targeting new talent for the future of British agriculture.
2 Sisters Food Group is supporting today’s launch of the Government’s Agriculture-Technologies Strategy with its retail partner Sainsbury’s.
This first-of-its-kind agricultural graduate scheme is designed to shape innovation in British farming and engage young people.
A Sainsbury’s graduate is coming to work at 2 Sisters Food Group’s agriculture team later this year, gaining an insight into how the team works with farmers and retailers to deliver the right products for customers.
The graduate will focus on some key projects relating to product quality, impacted by the way the chickens are farmed.
Ranjit Singh, CEO of 2 Sisters Food Group, said: “Like our partner Sainsbury’s, we recognise the importance of attracting young people into our industry - and developing the talent of the future.
“I’m delighted to support this initiative and back our youngsters to ensure we have a healthy and productive agriculture sector in the future.”
Michelle Waterman, Group Agriculture Director at 2 Sisters Food Group, added: “We wholeheartedly agree with our retail partners that a big problem is the fact that the farming population is ageing, so it's important to have young people enter the industry and help to drive innovation and secure the future.
“With 2 Sisters backing this initiative, it brings benefits for the whole supply chain - from farmers through to our customer – the retailers – and the end consumer."
The unique scheme is closely aligned with the Government’s Agri-tech strategy by attracting the brightest young talent into the industry and creating the next generation of leaders to ensure British farming can lead on a global scale.
The graduates start in September and will spend six months at 2 Sisters as part of their two-year programme with Sainsbury’s.
Judith Batchelar, Director of Sainsbury’s Brand and co-chair of the Agri-Tech Leadership Group, said: “Farming is one of the biggest industries in the UK which is why we think it's so important to plan for the future now.
“This is the reason I'm extremely proud to launch a graduate scheme today that's dedicated to British agriculture and complements the long running schemes we already have in food technology, and product development. This is also a new way of working for industry, as for the first time we will running this scheme in collaboration with our end to end supply chain partners.”
July 17, 2013
2 Sisters Food Group signs licensing agreement with Premier Foods for Hovis Breakfast Biscuits
Agreement includes production, distribution, sales and marketing activity in UK & Ireland.
Two Sisters Food Group today announces that it has reached a licensing agreement with Premier Foods plc for the production, distribution, sales and marketing of its Hovis Breakfast Bakes range of breakfast biscuits.
The new agreement will run for an initial period of five years from 1 August 2013 and marks an important step for 2 Sisters Food Group as it looks to continually diversify and innovate within new food categories.
The £77.8 million breakfast biscuit¹ market represents the fastest growing segment of the healthier biscuits category, itself growing at 8% annually² . By combining the strong heritage and health credentials of the Hovis brand together with the biscuits expertise of Fox’s Biscuits, both companies foresee opportunities to target a genuine need among busy consumers to provide a healthier biscuit alternative and grow the category further.
Commenting on the new licensing agreement, Colin Smith, Managing Director, Fox’s Biscuits, said:
“I’m delighted with this agreement as it will enable both companies to be part of a relatively new and growing category. We see enormous potential to grow one of the nation’s favourite brands, which has such a strong association with natural ingredients and goodness, in the biscuits sector. We will look to create new varieties within the current Hovis Breakfast Bakes range as well as innovate with new products.”
Simon Devereux, Business Unit Director, Premier Foods’ Bread Division, said:
The three variants of Hovis Breakfast Bakes; Malted Crunch; Oats & Honey; and Milk & Oats; will be manufactured at the Fox’s Biscuits plant in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. The licensing agreement also provides for other healthier biscuit options to be developed under the Hovis brand in the future.
“This licensing agreement is an excellent way for us to extend the Hovis brand into adjacent categories. By working with 2 Sisters Food Group and Fox’s Biscuits, we have a partner with the biscuits expertise necessary to take full advantage of the market opportunities.”
June 18, 2013
2 Sisters Food Group welcomes Office of Fair Trading decision on acquisition of Vion UK Poultry business
2 Sisters Food Group has today welcomed the decision by the UK’s Office of Fair Trading (OFT), which published its review into the acquisition of Vion’s UK Poultry business by 2 Sisters Food Group.
The OFT has fully reviewed the transaction, including the combination of the poultry businesses owned by both parties, and concluded that there is not a competition issue. The integration of both the red meat business and poultry business can now proceed.
2 Sisters welcomes the timely outcome of the OFT’s review, which now enables the Group to move forward with plans to invest and improve the Vion business, which remains loss making, and further develop the Red Meat (beef and lamb) business, which offers growth potential. The outcome also ends any uncertainty for our employees, for our customers and for farmers and other suppliers who serve these sites.
The deal is good news for UK consumers, who will now benefit from a secure supply of British meat and continued fierce competition amongst the supplier base, with both domestic manufacturers and imported chicken from a number of countries across the world.
March 4, 2013
2 Sisters Food Group agrees acquisition of VION’s UK poultry and red meat, securing a viable future for these businesses
2 Sisters Food Group today announces that it has agreed to acquire VION’s poultry and red meat processing businesses in the UK. The acquisition secures a viable future for these businesses, as well as providing certainty to their UK supply chain, which is underpinned by British farmers. The acquisition will help to meet growing demand from 2 Sisters’ poultry customers and further diversifies the company’s offering to include red meat, supporting 2 Sisters’ strategy of serving more meal occasions.
The acquisition follows the announcement by VION’s Dutch parent company on 19 November 2012 of its plan to exit its UK operations. VION’s poultry and red meat businesses are suppliers of poultry, beef and lamb to the retail and food service sectors in the UK and Europe. They have 11 processing sites in the UK and approximately 6,000 employees and have suffered from challenging trading conditions, in particular in poultry, with the loss of a number of major contracts.
Ranjit Singh, Chief Executive of 2 Sisters Food Group, said:
“We are delighted to be acquiring VION UK’s poultry and red meat businesses. They have faced significant uncertainty and tough trading in recent months, but today’s acquisition secures a viable future. With the majority of the operations being in Scotland and Wales, we are delighted that the Scottish and Welsh governments are supportive of this deal and we look forward to working with them and developing a sustainable future for these businesses.
This acquisition will safeguard a key supply chain for high quality British poultry and meat, offering reassurance to farmers in England, Scotland and Wales and upholding the quality and provenance that UK customers and consumers deserve.
At 2 Sisters, we put the customer at the heart of everything we do and in line with our customers’ strategies, these businesses will help us to shorten the supply chain for consumers and meet growing demand for British sourced food. Our immediate focus will be to improve performance, as we have successfully done with our previous acquisitions. We look forward to welcoming VION colleagues to 2 Sisters Food Group, and to working together to grow our business.”
Edwina Hart AM, Welsh Business Minister, said:
“I welcome today's announcement that 2 Sisters is to acquire VION’s poultry and red meat businesses, which safeguards the future of their operations in Wales. We have been working closely with both VION and 2 Sisters to help secure this deal in order to sustain the future for the workers and the supply chain in Wales.”
John Swinney MSP, Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth in the Scottish Government, said:
"I welcome the decision by the 2 Sisters Food Group to buy Vion. Today's announcement is a significant step forward and my officials and I look forward to working with 2 Sisters over the coming months in order to secure a sustainable future for the plants in Scotland. This is a time of significant opportunity in building the food sector in Scotland and the involvement of 2 Sisters assists that process.”
The sites acquired by 2 Sisters Food Group are:
VION UK Poultry:
VION UK Red Meat:
- St Merryn, Victoria
- St Merryn, Bodmin
- McIntosh Donald, Portlethen
January 18, 2013
Leading sandwich manufacturer set for 100 new jobs
Solway Foods, part of 2 Sisters Food Group, which is based at Manton Wood Enterprise Park, is set to recruit 100 new jobs in its factory, which supplies retail customers including Tesco and Costa.
The site employs around 1200 permanent staff. By winning additional business over the last 12 months, the site has seen production volumes increase by around 6%.
The site is a key part of 2 Sisters Food Group’s growth agenda. 2 Sisters, which employs around 18,000 people in the UK, Ireland and Europe, is one of the UK’s largest food manufacturers, supplying products including chicken and poultry, chilled ready meals, pizza, soup, sandwiches and salads; frozen pizza, fish and vegetables; puddings, cakes and desserts.
Steve Bryant, General Manager for Solway Foods at Manton Wood, said: “This is good news for Solway Foods and shows how under 2 Sisters we are focused on growing our business into the future.
“The food industry overall remains tough and highly competitive, but the chilled sandwiches market is showing continued growth and by putting our customers at the heart of everything we do, we have been able to benefit.”
Recruitment is already underway at the site, with jobs being phased in over the coming weeks. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
October 11, 2012
2 Sisters Food Group scoops Outstanding Business Achievement award
The Chief Executive of 2 Sisters Food Group has scooped a prestigious industry award which recognises Outstanding Achievement in the food industry.
Ranjit Singh Boparan, scooped The Grocer Cup 2012 award, at a ceremony organised by the IGD (Institute for Grocery Distribution) in London. The food industry is the UK’s largest private sector employer and 2 Sisters is one of the leading manufacturers, supplying branded and own label products to the major supermarkets and other retail customers.
2 Sisters, which employs over 18,000 colleagues, operates from 42 sites in the UK, Ireland, India and Europe, supplying Poultry, Ready meals, Sandwiches, Salads, Pies, Pizza, Fish, Puddings, Cakes and Desserts, and Biscuits. Its brands include Fox’s Biscuits and Goodfella’s pizzas.
Joanne Denney-Finch, Chief Executive of the IGD, said: “Ranjit is a true entrepreneur and a credit to the food industry. He has been on our industry leaders’ forum, the Policy Issues Council, for the last year and continues to make valued contributions to our industry initiatives. I would like to extend my personal, warmest congratulations to him for winning the popular vote and receiving this award.”
Adam Leyland, editor of The Grocer, said: “Ranjit’s move to acquire Northern, and his vision to create the UK’s biggest supplier, was brave and bold; but with his relentless focus on customer service, he has won a lot of new business from retailers, and is starting to repay the City’s faith in his ability to deliver. He’s also shown a willingness to learn from Northern Foods, reversing some of his back office systems into theirs.”
Ranjit Singh, CEO of 2 Sisters Food Group, said: "It was really pleasing to see 2 Sisters recognised in this way and the award is dedicated to all of our colleagues and all of our customers.