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Noble Foods announces Sarah Dean as chair

Sarah Dean

NOBLE FOODS has announced owner Sarah Dean as its new chairperson, taking over from incumbent Chris Bull.

The firm said that Ms Dean would “work closely with the executive team to guide the business forward in a challenging climate, focusing on bringing the company’s purpose – ‘to better nourish people, animals and planet’ – to life”.

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She and the rest of the board will work with chief executive Duncan Everett to continue to grow Noble Foods.

While eggs remain at the core of the business, Ms Dean will also progress the business by leveraging opportunities within other divisions – Milling (which recently acquired Hi-Peak), Poultry, Agriculture and Added Value.

In addition to this, Noble Foods has a joint venture – Plant Heads – which in 2020 launched Crackd – The No-Egg Egg, the UK’s first Vegan liquid egg replacer.

‘Family business’

Upon her appointment, Ms Dean said: “Noble Foods has been a family business since it was started as ‘Deans Farm’ by my great-grandfather in 1920.

“My father, Peter Dean, performed a management buyout in 1991. I watched as his vision and entrepreneurship grew it rapidly from an egg packing company into a vertically-integrated food business.

“I have been working very closely with the board for the past three years, and the time felt right for me to take on the role of chair to see our family values continue to influence the growth and strategic direction for the future.

“I’d like to thank Chris Bull for his incredible support over the last year – his guidance has been invaluable in helping to shape our business.”

‘Stewardship’

“I often describe the role of family business owner as one of stewardship.

“My focus must be on the long-term, to ensure business survival for many generations to come.

As chair, I will ensure that the decisions we make in the Boardroom are taken with this in mind, balanced with our purpose.”

“As anyone working in food and agriculture knows, it is also an incredibly challenging market.

Volatility

“The cost of animal feed, the war in Ukraine and rising inflation costs are hitting us all, both on a personal and on a business level. We are doing everything we can to protect all stakeholders from the volatility.”

Noble Foods was taken back into family ownership in 2019, after the retirement of co-owner Michael Kent, who had been in business with Peter Dean since 2006.

The company owns several leading egg brands, including the UK’s largest free-range egg brand ‘the happy egg co.’ and the organic brand, Purely Organic, which was recently credited as being Carbon Neutral by The Carbon Trust.