Norman Roach started a poultry processing business in 1960, but expanded into pork when a client began paying with gammon instead of cash. Roach Foods is now the UK’s second largest pork processor, having merged with Cambridgeshire pig farmer Dalehead Foods in 1999. Based in Cornwall, Roach Foods is run by Norman’s son Graham, who is company chairman. Profits have risen by 70% pa, from £3.5m in 1995 to £17.3m in 1998. Sales increased by 12% pa in the same period to reach £115.7m. Sales have been fuelled by increasing demand on the part of supermarkets for delicatessen and pre-packed meats, while margins have been kept high by economies of scale provided by a cooked meat factory opened by Roach in Bodmin in 1998. The company says production flexibility enables it to match supermarkets’ changing needs for own-brand products.
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