Premier Foods has responded to the furore over “investment payments” by releasing comments from suppliers backing the scheme.
BBC’s Newsnight program has suggested Premier has received “millions” of pounds from suppliers under the scheme. The programme said a member of Premier staff had told a supplier those companies who do not provide investment payments will be nominated to be de-listed.
The Oxo, Sharwood’s and Mr Kipling owner - which today (5 December) insisted the controversial policy was voluntary and that non-payment would not result in de-listing – said some of its suppliers had “come forward” with the following supportive comments:
Provider of laboratory and process technologies and equipment
Colin Maher, general manager: “Sartorius Intec has been a supplier to Premier Foods for several years. Our business with Premier in recent years has been small (<£20k p.a.) and restricted to conducting the servicing and calibration of some of Premier’s range of product inspection equipment. Since making an Investment for Growth payment to Premier in 2013, we have seen a significant increase in enquiries and subsequent orders from Premier amounting to approximately £500,000. This is no different to us spending money on marketing, but the return on investment against any previous spend on marketing has been significantly higher over a shorter period of time. If at the same time we can ensure the future growth of both companies then this can only be a benefit.”
Provider of large-scale managed transport solutions
Andy Humpherson, MD: “I would like to express my support for Premier Foods and confirm that the recent supplier initiative has had a very positive impact on our business. Prior to the Invest in Premier Foods Programme, Jigsaw was one of a large number of transport suppliers in UK. We have always enjoyed an excellent relationship with Premier Foods but this programme has given Jigsaw a platform on which to significantly grow turnover with one of the largest food suppliers in the UK market. Increased revenues have presented additional employment opportunities with our Premier Foods contract team almost doubling from eight FTEs to 14 FTEs. Investment in IT systems has followed, with Jigsaw now able to offer enhanced IT solutions to Premier Foods to enable more efficient operations. Through supplier consolidation, previously complex transport operations in the Premier Foods network have now been simplified enabling efficiency gains in terms of reduced cost and more importantly reduced road miles.”
Allied Protek Engineering
Medium-sized engineering, design and management company
Paul Wilson, MD: “We were invited to join Premier Foods’ Investing for Growth Programme in 2013. Since making a small investment, Premier has not only awarded us more business direct, but has actively promoted our services to overseas-based equipment manufacturers who have engaged us to install their equipment on a number of Premier Foods’ sites. Our turnover related to business with Premier Foods has increased six-fold in the past 14 months from around £0.3m pre-investment to £1.8m currently. This increased trading has contributed to a substantial growth in our business, allowing us to increase our workforce, creating 22 additional full-time positions in the past 12 months.”
Food branding agency
Simon Forster, director: “We are supportive of Premier Foods. We have a good relationship with the company and in 2014 won Premier supplier of the year award. Working with Premier has raised our profile among our peers and hopefully with other potential clients. This growth has enabled three new employees this year and we are hoping to take on two more early in 2015.”
Provider of process & automation solutions to the food industry
Harry Norman, MD: “OAL Group has been a long-term supplier of advanced bulk material systems to Premier for the past 20 years. Premier discussed that they wanted to find savings in the supply chain by rationalising the number of suppliers, in return for increased business levels. OAL Group was initially sceptical but after seeing the investment for growth plans fully engaged in the program. Taking a long-term view, we regarded the Premier initiative being much more transparent and less costly than rebate programs adopted by some other manufacturers. As a preferred supplier our sales costs with Premier have reduced far more than the investment we made; making it a win-win for all parties. OAL Group turnover with Premier has gone up to £2.4m YTD since making the investment.”