Farmison shop opening (1 of 1)

Source: Farmison 

The upmarket online butcher was rescued from administration by ex-Asda boss Andy Clarke last month

Farmison has started a phased reopening of operations following its rescue from administration by ex-Asda boss Andy Clarke last month.

After receiving the green light to restart operations by the FSA, the North Yorkshire-based premium online meat brand has this week started selling a selection of heritage breeds online at the Farmison website, with its offering due to be expanded over the coming weeks.

Clarke – who led a consortium of businesspeople in buying the assets of the company on 24 April – said Farmison’s shop and click & collect location in Ripon would also reopen later this week.

Farmison appointed insolvency firm FRP Advisory as administrator on 6 April, with most of its 75 staff made redundant as the business ceased trading following months of uncertainty over its financial difficulties.

Since acquiring the business late last month, there had been “significant work to begin bringing the business back to life”, added Clarke, who has become Farmison’s executive chairman. 


It had also re-engaged key leaders in operations, supply and its butchery department – part of a plan to re-recruit over 50 people over the course of the coming months.

The revived business said it had also obtained commitments from its farming partners across the north of England, that they would “continue to supply Farmison with the grass-fed, heritage breed meat that is at the heart of Farmison’s customer promise”.

Clarke’s partners in the sustainable online meat retailer are Manchester-based Chilli Marketing’s Gareth Whittle, Christian Barton and Kieron Barton. Whittle is the founder and former MD of the agency and was a board member of Farmison prior to its administration.

Initial ranges available to customers include a 32-day dry-aged rib steak, handmade hot dogs and Farmison & Co’s signature cut dry aged sirloin steak alongside pork, chicken and lamb sourced from its network of farms across the north.

“I want to give a massive thank you to the Farmison team who’ve acted with incredible speed to bring the business back to life – and of course to our farmers across Yorkshire and the north, who are determined to support the business get back on its feet,” Clarke said.


“We’ve been absolutely bowled over by the messages of support from colleagues, customers and suppliers since taking ownership of the business,” he added.

“It will be some weeks yet before we have our full ranges back online, but we thank each and every one of the customers who’ve sent us those messages of encouragement and support over the past few weeks. It means the world to the whole Farmison team. We look forward to serving them once more in the days, weeks and months ahead.”

In an interview with The Grocer late last month, Clarke said a revived Farmison would make a renewed push into mainstream supermarkets – a long-held ambition of the collapsed original business’s co-founder John Pallagi.

“It is still very early to be really clear about how the future will unfold,” suggested Clarke – who was CEO of Asda from 2010 to 2016. “But one thing that is certain is we’ve got a great wholesale, restaurant and retail opportunity,” he added.

“I can see the advantages of putting the Farmison brand on to shelves of core retail, as long as it is the right retail brand. The direct-to-consumer route is a strong proposition, but we have to get the marketing right and the way we acquire and retain customers.”