Ripon firm Farmison to trade again after buyout completed
Apr 24, 2023

The Ripon-based online meat retailer Farmison & Co is to re-commence trading.

A consortium led by Andy Clarke, the former chief executive of Asda, today acquired the company from administration for an undisclosed sum.

John Pallagi who co-founded the business with Lee Simmons in 2011, is not listed as a consortium member.

The consortium said in a statement:

“Over the course of the coming weeks, the consortium intends to recommence operations at Farmison’s production facility in Ripon and return the business to being an important employer in the city.

“The consortium will work with the whole leadership team to firstly stabilise the company after a difficult year and then devise and implement a growth strategy.”

It is not known how many staff will be hired but a spokesman said a “substantial” number of positions will be created.

Mr Clarke, who was chief executive officer of Leeds-based Asda from 2010-16 will become executive chairman of Farmison.

Acknowledging the vision of Mr Pallagi, he said:

“While unable to navigate the economic difficulties of the last 12 months, John’s ‘eat better meat’ mission that sits at the heart of Farmison’s business, is one we believe has significant potential for growth.

“And as a retailer brought up on a farm in Yorkshire, I know how producers across the region appreciated Farmison’s commitment to the best producers who could provide the highest quality meat to customers.

“That’s why I’m very excited about Farmison’s prospects.  We have an opportunity to scale this business and further develop both its direct-to-consumer and wholesale plans, building on the ethos and values of what Farmison stands for.”

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But Mr Clarke added:

“Nevertheless, there is much work to do to get the business back on its feet and trading again — not least re-engaging with Farmison’s important network of farmers across the region and re-employing colleagues”.

“In the short-term, our goal is to bring financial stability to the business, and we’re committed to re-energising Farmison’s long-term vision so it can take advantage of the growth opportunities that are undoubtedly available to it.”

In the course of the coming weeks, the consortium expects to re-open Farmison’s website.

Farmison sells online directly to customers across the UK, and through wholesale channels such as Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Michelin star restaurants.

Other consortium members include former Farmison board member Gareth Whittle, founder and former managing director of Chilli Marketing.

Chilli Marketing’s Christian Barton and Kieron Barton are also involved with the consortium.

Arvindar Jit Singh, joint administrator and partner at FRP Advisory said:

“We are thrilled to have been able to secure a buyer for Farmison who is able to recommence trading and bring jobs back to Ripon.

“There had been significant interest in purchasing the business and assets of Farmison and a number of serious offers had been put forward in recent weeks, but the proposal from the consortium provides the best opportunity of both re-establishing the business and maximising returns to creditors.”