Brian Stein joins Branston board
10 July 2012
Brian Stein, former chief executive of Samworth Brothers, has joined the board of Branston Ltd as a non-executive director
Stein retired from Samworth Brothers at the end of March after a highly successful 17 years with the company. The largest family-owned food manufacturing business in the UK, Samworth Brothers has successfully developed its own well-known brands as well as producing own label convenience food for many of the UK’s big retailers.
As the UK’s leading supplier of potatoes, Branston says the appointment of Stein is a big coup for the company. Branston’s chairman Guy McCracken said: "We are delighted that Brian is joining the board of Branston. Brian has an outstanding reputation in the food industry and his knowledge and experience will be of huge benefit to Branston in the future."
Stein was instrumental in the growth of Samworth Brothers. He joined them as group managing director from Northern Foods in 1995, when Samworth Brothers had sales of £90m. He became chief executive in 2002, and after 10 years in the role sales had grown to £850m.
During his time with Samworth Brothers, Stein helped grow Ginsters from a regional brand to the market leader in the UK pastry market and developed the Mini Melton pork pie, which is the company's biggest seller. But these high profile brands are just part of the Samworth story. Stein balanced this with growth of own-label lines for retailers including Tesco, Waitrose, Morrisons and M&S.
Branston, which has sites in Scotland, the South West and Lincolnshire, launched its prepared foods division in 2005. Focusing on producing high quality cook-from-fresh products, it has grown to become the category leader for Tesco prepared potatoes. It is continuing to expand, with a range of retail and foodservice customers, and the appointment of Stein is seen as an ideal opportunity to add industry-specific expertise to the board.
Stein recently visited Branston’s £5m prepared foods factory near Lincoln to see the production facilities and meet the team who develop and produce the range of ready-to-cook products.
He said: "Having visited the site and met the people involved, I am delighted to join such a progressive business and I hope that I can add value to their growth strategy."
Graeme Beattie, Branston’s managing director, added: “I’m really looking forward to working with Brian. He has huge experience relevant to our business and customers. We see great potential for growth, particularly in the prepared foods sector and Brian’s input will be invaluable in the months ahead.”
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