Faccenda Group

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Industrial chicken farm operated by the Faccenda Group on the Marsh Road east of Burnham-on-Crouch

Faccenda Group is a privately owned UK business established in 1962 by Robin Faccenda,[1] which supplies fresh chicken products. It is the second-largest chicken processing company in the UK,[2] capable of processing 2 million chickens per week.[3]

Ownership & Losses[edit]

The group is owned by Hillesden Investments Ltd.,[4] growing the business through acquisitions of Hinton Poultry, Perry Poultry and Webbs Country Foods, with an annual turnover of around £300m and 1,700 employees.[5] Despite a record turnover, the Faccenda Group went from a £6.8 million profit to a loss of £5.1 million in 2007-2008.[6]

Purchase & closure[edit]

The purchase of the loss making Webbs Country Foods in December 2000, required the closure of the most underinvested site at the Lymington, Hampshire factory with a loss of 500 jobs.[7][8] However, 850 jobs were saved across the remaining 3 production facilities.[citation needed]

As part of a major business consolidation exercise, Faccenda closed the factory in Sutton Benger, Wiltshire in 2008, with the loss of 450 jobs, moving all production to the Brackley site.[2][9][10] This exercise also included the investment of £3 million in its factory in Brackley, Northamptonshire,[11] and £2 million to its factories in Hortonwood, Telford and Dudley and the creation of 100 new jobs - some transferring from the Sutton Benger site.[12][13][14][15][16]

Environmental Fines & Court Cases[edit]

The Faccenda poultry processing plant in Sutton Benger

In 2002, the company was fined £75,000 for polluting the River Avon from its Sutton Benger plant,.[17] It was also fined a further £14,000 after 17-year-old Martin Major lost his little finger and ring finger after he reached into a machine without first turning it off.

In 2009, the company was fined almost £5000 for incorrectly disposing of waste at one of its processing plants in Wiltshire. The company admitted breaches of the Environmental Protection Act at Lyneham Farm, Uppertown, near Chippenham, during a hearing (18 November) before Chippenham magistrates.

The court heard that, in April 2008, a routine visit to the poultry unit by Environment Agency inspectors found that hazardous waste was being bought from other sites and incorrectly stored. A further inspection in October showed that the hazardous waste, including fluorescent light tubes, was still being stored, mixed with other waste and then taken to a waste transfer site.

Paula Sage, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, told the court: "The defendant company consistently failed to comply with the advice given to it by the Environment Agency and tried to dispose of hazardous waste, despite being warned on previous occasions about the illegal mixing, storing and transportation of hazardous wastes."[18]

In 2003, police arrested 20 Brazilians working illegally at the plant in 2003.[19] The Environment Agency found in 2006 that the smell from the Brackley plant fell outside limits under the Pollution Prevention and Control regulations.[20]

Mr Robin Faccenda, Chairman of the Faccenda Group, has invested £300,000 in a new student centre at Harper Adams, which will bear his name when it opens in 2010. A further £200,000 will fund a long-term programme of student financial support.,[21]

A case brought by Faccenda against a former sales manager, Faccenda Chicken v Fowler [1986], is a key legal case in confidentiality and trade secrets.[22]


  1. ^ "Robin Faccenda and family". Sunday Times (London). 26 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  2. ^ a b Sibun, Jonathan; James Hall (21 April 2008). "Faccenda is a casualty of soaring food prices". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  3. ^ Sibun, Jonathan (13 August 2008). "Britain's biggest private companies: Eat, drink and be profitable". Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  4. ^ "Hillesden Investments". Fast Track. Retrieved 2009-09-06. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Faccenda Group". Food Manufacture. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  6. ^ "Robin Faccenda and family". The Times (London). 2009-04-26. 
  7. ^ "500 jobs go in chicken plant". Guardian (London). 11 January 2001. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  8. ^ "Food firm to axe 500 jobs". The Independent. 10 January 2001. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  9. ^ McPherson, Scott (11 June 2008). "Calls to save Faccenda". Wiltshire Gazette & Herald. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  10. ^ Adams, Katie (12 June 2008). "Union urges factory closure rethink". Wiltshire Times & Chippenham News. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  11. ^ "£3m to be invested in factory". Buckingham Today. 28 April 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-06. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Jobs to go at chicken factory". BBC News. 15 April 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  13. ^ "Faccenda Group hit by rising costs". The Manufacturer. 16 April 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  14. ^ "Chicken firm promises investment". BBC News. 11 June 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  15. ^ Smith, Andrew (7 August 2008). "Faccenda to invest in two poultry processing plants". Farmers Weekly Interactive. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  16. ^ Allison, Richard (5 May 2008). "Poultry plant to close as company restructures". Farmers Weekly Interactive. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  17. ^ "Poultry firm is fined £75,000 for pollution". Swindon Advertiser. 15 August 2002. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  18. ^ http://www.meatinfo.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/9847/Faccenda_fined_over_waste_disposal.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ "Raid nets 20 immigrants". Swindon Advertiser. 11 September 2003. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  20. ^ "Factory chimney will rid town of 'fowl' smell". Banbury Guardian. 10 August 2006. Retrieved 2009-09-06. 
  21. ^ "Robin Faccenda donates £0.5million to support students". Harper Adams University. 20 May 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-24. 
  22. ^ Holland, James; Stuart Burnett (2007). "Protecting business secrets". Employment Law. Blackstone Legal Practice Course Guide. Oxford University Press. p. 465. ISBN 0-19-920546-9. 

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