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, which supplies fresh poultry products.[1]

In 2018, Faccenda and Cargill opened a joint venture to take over their UK fresh poultry businesses, named Avara Foods, employing 6,000 people.[2]

Ownership and losses[edit]

The group is owned by Hillesden Investments Ltd.,[3] growing the business through acquisitions of Hinton Poultry, Perry Poultry and Webbs Country Foods, with an annual turnover of around £300m with 2,500 employees in 2005,[4] growing to a turnover of £365 million with a profit of £5 million in 2013.[5] In 2007-2008 the Faccenda Group had suffered a loss of £5 million.[6]

In 2008 it was the second-largest chicken processing company in the UK,[7] capable of processing 2 million chickens per week.[8]

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.,[9]

In 2014, Robin Faccenda and his family were listed by Farmers Weekly as the richest within the UK poultry industry.[10]

In 2017, Faccenda and Cargill announced a joint venture to take over their UK fresh poultry businesses.[11][12] In 2018, following agreement by the Competition and Markets Authority, they announced the name of the joint venture as Avara Foods, employing 6,000 people.[2]

Purchase and closure[edit]

The Faccenda poultry processing plant in Sutton Benger, closed in 2008

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.[13][14] 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.[7][15][16] This exercise also included the investment of £3 million in its factory in Brackley,[17] and £2 million to its factories in Hortonwood (north Telford) and Dudley and the creation of 100 new jobs - some transferring from the Sutton Benger site.[18][19][20][21][22]

In 2012 Faccenda bought Cranberry Foods, a turkey business.[5]

Court cases[edit]

In 2002, the company was fined £75,000 for polluting the River Avon from its Sutton Benger plant.[23][24] It was also fined a further £14,000 after 17-year-old worker lost his little finger and ring finger after he reached into a machine through a gap in the guarding mesh.[25]

In 2003, police arrested 20 Brazilians working illegally at the plant in 2003.[26]

The Environment Agency found in 2006 that the smell from the Brackley plant fell outside limits under the Pollution Prevention and Control regulations.[23][27]

In 2009, the company was fined £5000 under the Environmental Protection Act for incorrectly disposing of waste at Lyneham Farm, near Chippenham.[23] 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. The Environment Agency prosecutor 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."[28]

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.[29][30]


  1. ^ "Robin Faccenda and family". Sunday Times. London. 26 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  2. ^ a b "Cargill and Faccenda unveil Avara Foods joint venture". Food Manufacture. 31 January 2018. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Hillesden Investments". Fast Track. Retrieved 2009-09-06.[dead link]
  4. ^ "Faccenda Group". Food Manufacture. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  5. ^ a b Ford, Richard (28 January 2014). "Profits soar at poultry group Faccenda". The Grocer. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  6. ^ "Robin Faccenda and family". The Times. London. 2009-04-26.
  7. ^ a b Sibun, Jonathan; James Hall (21 April 2008). "Faccenda is a casualty of soaring food prices". Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  8. ^ Sibun, Jonathan (13 August 2008). "Britain's biggest private companies: Eat, drink and be profitable". Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  9. ^ "Robin Faccenda donates £0.5million to support students". Harper Adams University. 20 May 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-05-27. Retrieved 2009-09-24.
  10. ^ Davies, Jake (14 July 2014). "Faccenda named poultry industry's richest". Farmers Weekly. Retrieved 22 September 2014.
  11. ^ Fortune, Aidan (25 September 2017). "New UK poultry business formed by Cargill and Faccenda Foods". globalmeatnews.com. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  12. ^ "Cargill merges with Faccenda Foods in new UK poultry venture". FoodBev Media. 25 September 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  13. ^ "500 jobs go in chicken plant". Guardian. London. 11 January 2001. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  14. ^ "Food firm to axe 500 jobs". The Independent. 10 January 2001. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  15. ^ McPherson, Scott (11 June 2008). "Calls to save Faccenda". Wiltshire Gazette & Herald. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  16. ^ Adams, Katie (12 June 2008). "Union urges factory closure rethink". Wiltshire Times & Chippenham News. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  17. ^ "£3m to be invested in factory". Buckingham Today. 28 April 2008. Archived from the original on February 12, 2010. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  18. ^ "Jobs to go at chicken factory". BBC News. 15 April 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  19. ^ "Faccenda Group hit by rising costs". The Manufacturer. 16 April 2008. Archived from the original on 6 October 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  20. ^ "Chicken firm promises investment". BBC News. 11 June 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  21. ^ Smith, Andrew (7 August 2008). "Faccenda to invest in two poultry processing plants". Farmers Weekly Interactive. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  22. ^ Allison, Richard (5 May 2008). "Poultry plant to close as company restructures". Farmers Weekly Interactive. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  23. ^ a b c Mullaney, Lorraine (12 November 2012). "Chicken processor sued over 'sickening smells'". FOODmanufacture.co.uk. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  24. ^ "Poultry firm is fined £75,000 for pollution". Swindon Advertiser. 15 August 2002. Retrieved 2009-09-06.[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ "Firm fined after teen worker is injured". Gazette & Herald. Trowbridge. 28 March 2002. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  26. ^ "Raid nets 20 immigrants". Swindon Advertiser. 11 September 2003. Retrieved 2009-09-06.[permanent dead link]
  27. ^ "Factory chimney will rid town of 'fowl' smell". Banbury Guardian. 10 August 2006. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
  28. ^ "Faccenda fined over waste disposal". meatinfo.co.uk. 23 November 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  29. ^ 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.
  30. ^ Swarbrick, David (21 May 2014). "Faccenda Chicken Ltd -v- Fowler; CA 1986". swarb.co.uk. Retrieved 22 September 2014.

External links[edit]