Chief executive of Anglia Farmers
Anglia Farmers is the leading agricultural purchasing group in the UK buying in excess of Â£190 million of farm and business inputs per annum on behalf of its 2,400 members. Operating from purpose built offices on the outskirts of Norwich and employing a team of 90 industry specialists and administrative staff, the company continues to grow both organically and through strategic alliances.
As well as consistently attracting new members, Anglia Farmers is the procurement arm for First Milk, the UK's largest dairy farmer-owned business. The company purchases products and services traditionally associated with agricultural businesses such as seed, fuel and fertiliser and have extended their buying power to encompass an extensive range of products including telecommunications, electricity and household goods. Anglia Farmers makes the benefits of group purchasing available to other organisations through its subsidiary company AF Affinity which provides procurement services for businesses and employee incentive schemes.
The judges were struck by the immense innovation and business development shown by all the finalists of the Food and Farming Excellence Award. Anglia Maltings' sheer profitability combined with a very grounded and sustainable plan for development made them stand out as winners. As well as servicing regional and national brewers with high quality malting barley the group has had the vision to identify the developing Asian brewing markets as a strong growth area to expand their already large export business. By securing long term contracts with growers the group have not only ensured their own security and sustainability but are also making a positive and fair contribution to the farming industry. Whilst the company hedges risks where possible they are also constantly looking for new developments, such as bringing out new varieties of malting barley.
Anglia Maltings, whose headquarters are in Great Ryburgh near Fakenham, comprises the Crisp Malting Group (who produce malt for beer, whisky and food) as well as EMME (who supply food ingredients nationally and internationally). Anglia Maltings were listed 15th in the 2011 Sunday Times profit track 100 list and recorded a 2009 group turnover of over £100 million with a profit before tax of £13.3 million. Anglia Maltings supply malting barley to craft brewers in East Anglia as well as nationally and have a significant export business. In total 23% of Anglia Maltings' barley is exported around the world and the developing Asian markets are particularly important to the company. The group ensure the security and sustainability of their supply chain by negotiating long term contracts with growers and also have their own distribution fleet. They carry out trials to bring out new varieties of malting barley and procure the highest quality product with full traceability through the supply chain. The group have implemented a number of environmental schemes, such as cutting their water consumption by 17% over the last five years.
Anglian Pea Growers (APG) is a co–operative of 160 farmers formed in 1999 by the merger of five smaller groups. APG, which has a turnover of £4.5 million, made a forward-thinking strategic change to find a new market for its peas with Belgian company Ardo. This was after Birds Eye, who APG and its predecessors had supplied for over 60 years, pulled out of the region last year. The agreement with Ardo is unique within the industry because it secures APG's ability to profitably grow peas for at least the next three years with a target return per hectare. The group acts as an agent for their growers and operate a pooling system to spread the risk for members and manage their harvesting programme. APG have adopted a holistic business model keeping close accountability of operations. They have recruited experienced technical staff and invested in state-of-the-art technology, including three new harvesters, GPS guidance and electronic quality assessment equipment. APG ensure full traceability of their products back to individual growers and are developing a unique variety of pea as well as a 'made in East Anglia' brand.
Kinnerton Confectionery, whose headquarters are in Fakenham, is one of the UK's leading independent chocolate confectionery manufacturers with a turnover in excess of £70 million. Following a strategic business review Kinnerton have shown a very strong performance in the last year and have seen their profit increase by 33% year on year.
Last year Kinnerton developed 700 new products and it is their ability to innovate dynamically that offers them a competitive advantage. Kinnerton has particularly targeted the advent calendar market and are now the UK's number one manufacturer of advent calendars with a 40% market share. Kinnerton have developed strong relationships with major retailers and are Marks and Spencer's leading confectionary supplier. They also produce chocolates for other major brands under licence. Kinnerton integrate environmental practices throughout the company and have found innovative ways to save on power and packaging. They educate all their staff on environmental issue and each member of the board has responsibility as 'environmental champion' for different sectors of the business.