Northern Foods plans to halve suppliers to boost competitiveness

3 June 2011

4 June 2011 | Adam Leach

Northern Foods intends to reduce the number of suppliers in its supply base by half to increase efficiency.

The Leeds-based processed food manufacturer, producer of brands such as Goodfella’s pizza and Fox’s Biscuits, said it wants to build stronger relationships with 50 per cent of its current 4,500 vendors. Northern Foods was bought by Ranjit Singh Boparan, the owner of Harry Ramsden’s fish and chip shops, in January. The move is part of an effort to increase annual sales at the firm from £2 billion to £3 billion.

It is also proposing to give “partner status” to suppliers who take on increased responsibility once a proposed merger with 2 Sisters Food Group is complete.

A spokesman for Northern Foods told SM: “We are looking to consolidate our supplier base which of course is both a threat and an opportunity. We need supplier expertise to help drive the growth by volunteering value-engineering and better prices to become more efficient.”

It is hoped savings made through transforming the supply chain will make the group’s products more competitive, in turn increasing the chances of winning new contracts with customers such as major supermarkets.

Boparan bought Northern Foods for £342 million in January after the businessman made an eleventh-hour bid for the company, defeating a rival bid tabled by Greencore.

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