andy clarke

Andy Clarke led Asda for six years from

Collapsed online meat retailer Farmison has been bought out of administration by a consortium led by former Asda boss Andy Clarke.

The premium DTC butcher will restart trading in the coming weeks as a result of a deal finalised today (24 April).

The consortium – led by Clarke and Gareth Whittle, Christian Barton and Kieron Barton of marketing agency Chilli Marketing – intends to recommence operations at Farmison’s production facility in Ripon, North Yorkshire, and return the business to being “an important employer in the city”.

Almost all 75 employees at the company were made redundant when FRP Advisory was appointed as administrator of Farmison earlier this month as a rescue deal remained out of reach.

In the course of the coming weeks, the consortium expects to reopen Farmison’s website and will update customers and suppliers with plans “in due course”.

Clarke, who was CEO of Leeds-based Asda from 2010 to 2016 will become executive chairman of Farmison following the deal.


Gareth Whittle is the founder and former managing director of Chilli Marketing and was a board member of Farmison prior to its administration.

“While unable to navigate the economic difficulties of the last 12 months, [Farmison founder] John Pallagi’s ‘eat better meat’ mission that sits at the heart of Farmison’s business, is one we believe has significant potential for growth,” Clarke said.

“And as a retailer brought up on a farm in Yorkshire, I know how producers across the region appreciated Farmison’s commitment to the best producers who could provide the highest quality meat to customers.

“That’s why I’m very excited about Farmison’s prospects. We have an opportunity to scale this business and further develop both its direct-to-consumer and wholesale plans, building on the ethos and values of what Farmison stands for.”

He added: “Nevertheless, there is much work to do to get the business back on its feet and trading again – not least re-engaging with Farmison’s important network of farmers across the region and re-employing colleagues.

“In the short-term, our goal is to bring financial stability to the business, and we’re committed to re-energising Farmison’s long-term vision so it can take advantage of the growth opportunities that are undoubtedly available to it.”


Arvindar Jit Singh, joint administrator and partner at FRP, said: “We are thrilled to have been able to secure a buyer for Farmison who is able to recommence trading and bring jobs back to Ripon.

“There had been significant interest in purchasing the business and assets of Farmison and a number of serious offers had been put forward in recent weeks, but the proposal from the consortium provides the best opportunity of both re-establishing the business and maximising returns to creditors.

“We wish the team every success as they take the business forward.”

Farmison was founded in 2011 by John Pallagi and Lee Simmonds with a mission to encourage UK consumers to “eat better meat”.

The business, which worked with local farmers to source sustainable heritage and rare breeds, experienced a sales boom during the pandemic, with sales doubling to £12m in 2021.

However, despite the rapid growth, Farmison fell to a £2.6m loss, weighed down by its cost base.

Inverleith, which also owns troubled supermarket chain Planet Organic, acquired a majority stake in Farmison in early 2022.

The business also succeeded in hitting a £2m crowdfunding target in a round launched in November last year but cancelled the raise before taking the money after making changes to the growth plan.

As well as selling direct to consumers online, the brand also supplied high-end retailers, such as Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges and Harrods, and Michelin-star restaurants.