Northern Foods

From SourceWatch
(Redirected from Northern Foods plc)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Northern Foods was taken over by 2 Sisters in 2011.


"Northern Foods, originally Northern Dairies, was founded by Alec Horsley on Spalding Moor, East Yorkshire, in 1937. The history of Northern foods is intricately bound up with its retiring Chairman, Lord Chris Haskins who joined the company in 1962 when it was still Northern Dairies, after marrying the boss’s daughter, Gilda Horsley. After helping to run a small dairy in Belfast, he joined the main board in 1966, aged 29.

"According to a recent interview in the Sunday Times, the big breakthrough for the business and for Haskins was when he found himself on a plane next to Marks & Spencer (M&S) executive who was setting up a new store in Belfast. Marks and Spencer is a UK-based upmarket own-label supermarket chain. This executive was cajoled into buying milk for the store from Northern foods, a contract that mushroomed into food sales to M&S now worth £500m a year. Northern foods added yoghurt deliveries to the milk and then created the first fresh trifle for M&S, which - in food manufacturing terms - was the equivalent of mapping the human genome. "We lost a fortune on that trifle over the years but we really impressed M&S with our commitment."

"The trifle was the forerunner of Northern's American-style pizza for Tesco, its Seafresh (!) salmon in watercress sauce for Waitrose, Gammon and parsley snack pot for M&S and the rest of the convenience foods that underpin its success. See Corporate Crimes section ‘Selling unhealthy overpriced food’. This unique business relationship with Marks and Spencer is the secret to Northern Foods success. Its strategy since has been to buy up and consolidate M&S suppliers, as well as innovating to impress. In 1986, Northern Foods built the most advanced food factory in Europe, Fenlands Food Factory, at a cost of eight million pounds, and dedicated it entirely to M&S." [1]

Strike Action Against Northern Foods

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. Corporate Watch (UK) Northern Foods Inc, organizational web page, accessed June 21, 2012.