November 11, 2019


2 Sisters Food Group founder returns to take control of poultry division



2 Sisters Food Group, which provides about a third of chicken to supermarkets in the United Kingdom, has welcomed back its billionaire founder Ranjit Singh Boparan after he stepped down less than two years ago due to a food standards scandal, The Guardian reported.

Boparan will take over day-to-day control of his business' poultry division from Andrew McInnes. He reportedly grew frustrated at the slow progress as McInnes attempted to improve his division of 2 Sisters. The group is attempting to concentrate solely on poultry by selling its other food brands such as Fox's biscuits.

In February last year, Boparan had to stepped down from running the food group following am investigation by journalists which raised questions over 2 Sisters' food standards. The investigation prompted the company to stop production at its West Bromwich chicken plant for five weeks in order to deal with the problems.

Two years ago, undercover footage shot by the Guardian and ITV News at 2 Sisters' West Bromwich chicken plant showed poultry being dropped on the floor and returned to the production line, as well as an instance of labels recording the slaughter dates of birds being changed.

Boparan was called to appear in front of a parliamentary select committee, which concluded the problems identified at the West Bromwich site were "not a one-off" and raised concern at the "apparent laxity of the oversight" at the plant.

A resulting investigation into 2 Sisters by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) highlighted "several process weaknesses and regulatory failures".

Since the revelations, the business has struggled to turn a profit. In its most recent full-year results to July 2018, 2 Sisters made sales of £1.1 billion (US$1.4 billion) and a pretax loss of nearly £89 million (US$114 million), up from £38 million (US$48.6 million) in the previous year.

While Boparan is officially said to have returned as managing director of poultry on a caretaker basis, company insiders suggested the entrepreneur may be back in charge of running the group's largest business for good.

The management changes, first reported by Sky News, mean Boparan, as poultry managing director, will effectively report to Ronald Kers, the group's chief executive.

Kers in turn reports to Boparan, as the co-owner of 2 Sisters.

- The Guardian