|Products||pork pies, sausage rolls|
|Owner||Lloyds Development Capital|
Number of employees
|Subsidiaries||Bowyers, Farmhouse, Palethorpes, Wall's|
Pork Farms is a Nottingham-based British producer and distributor of mainly pork-based bakery products. The company grew from a pie shop founded in 1931, and was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1971. After several sales and amalgamations, since 2017 the brand has been owned by Lloyds Development Capital.
In the early 1940s, recently City and Guilds qualified baker Ken Parr took out a £9,000 loan to set up his own pie shop. He developed a reputation founded on good baking, and developed the first "original" pork pie based on an old recipe, with signature dark and crispy pastry. He then bought another local pie shop, founded in 1931 which traded under the name Pork Farms, which he adopted for all shops after that.
In the mid-1960s, Parr's business was bought by food tycoon W. Garfield Weston, who made Parr Chairman. In 1969, rival Nottingham pie company TN Parr, formerly owned by Parr’s uncle but then by Samworth Brothers, bought out Pork Farms, again bringing together the two companies together under the Pork Farms brand. In 1972, Pork Farms bought rival Holland's Pies. In 1971, the group was floated on the London Stock Exchange as Pork Farms Ltd.
In 1974, Pork Farms and Northern Foods created joint venture company Porkdown Ltd, to supply meat products to French foods group Danone. But immediately after production started, Danone undertook a group-wide review, and on deciding to concentrate on their milk-based products line, closed down the contract. The resultant losses closed Porkdown, and in 1978 lead to the agreed sale of Pork Farms to Northern Foods, after the Samworth family agreed sale of their shares to the group. Later merged by Northern with both Palethorpes of Market Drayton and Bowyers of Trowbridge, Wiltshire, to form Pork Farms Bowyers, the company sold the Bowyers and Palethorpes pork sausage business and brands to Kerry Group in 2001, to concentrate on baked meat products.
Bought by private equity firm Vision Capital in 2007, with European Union laws focusing on the need to produce Melton Mowbray Pork Pies within a defined distance of Melton Mowbray, the company chose to close the Trowbridge plant and invest £12million into the Nottingham plant to increase Melton Mowbray pie production. In 2010, the company employed over 2,000 people at five locations, in Poole, Nottingham, Market Drayton and Shaftesbury.
In 2011, Pork Farms marked its 80th anniversary with a £1m relaunch and a new range of slices. Packaging carried the straplines 'Making & Baking since 1931' and 'Butchers, Bakers, Master Piemakers'.
In 2014, the company proposed to buy two pastry product manufacturing sites, at Spalding and Poole, from Kerry Group; the sale was approved in 2015 on completion of an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority. The same year, Vision Capital combined Pork Farms with other chilled savoury pastry brands under Addo Food Group.
- "About Us". Pork Farms. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
- "Jobs could go at Bowyers factory". This is Wiltshire. 2001-12-07. Archived from the original on 2010-06-30. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
- "Pork Farms". Vision Capital. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
- "EU blamed for pie company's move". BBC News. 2007-07-12. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
- "History". Pork Farms. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
- "Pork Farms relaunch emphasises heritage". The Grocer. Retrieved 2011-04-28.
- "Pork pie takeover given go ahead". BBC News: Business. 3 June 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
- "Pork Farms Caspian / Kerry Foods merger inquiry". GOV.UK. 3 June 2015. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
- "Our Brands". Addo Food Group. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
- Atherton, Matt (19 April 2017). "Pastry maker Addo Food Group confirms sale to LDC". foodmanufacture.co.uk. Retrieved 14 October 2018.