Farmison & Co

Farmison is targeting sales of £100m following increased demand for its meat range of sustainably sourced heritage and rare British breeds

Premium online butcher Farmison has sold a majority stake to consumer brand-focused PE house Inverleith for an undisclosed sum.

Established in 2011 by John Pallagi and Lee Simmonds, the Yorkshire-based business aims to encourage UK consumers to ‘eat better meat’. Farmison has experienced rapid growth in recent years, particularly during the pandemic as shoppers flocked online to buy its range of meats, which focus on British heritage and rare breeds.

The investment by Inverleith will fuel a further push to introduce more consumers to sustainably sourced beef, pork and lamb breeds from the British Isles.

Pallagi will continue to lead the business as CEO, supported by a new board of directors and his existing management team.

“We now have the backing to take the business to the next stage and for our mission to encourage more people to eat better meat,” he said.

“This is a pivotal moment not just for the future of Farmison but for the sector. We have spent time searching for the right partner to take our business forward and to realise our ambition of delivering better meat, ethically and sustainably sourced, from heritage and rare British breeds, to consumers up and down the country.”

Pallagi added the investment from Inverleith would help drive production standards across the wider sector, help educate consumers and help explain more powerfully why better meat is better for customers, the planet and the long-term success of the farming sector in the UK.

The PE firm currently backs the likes of premium gin and scotch whisky distiller Eden Mill St Andrews, chocolate maker Montezuma’s, hemp oil brand Good Hemp, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society and Planet Organic.

Inverleith chairman Ben Thomson said: “The value and principles of Farmison strike a chord with modern day consumers and, in Inverleith’s care, we will strengthen these product qualities and company values, helping more consumers ‘eat better meat’.”

Farmison appointed KPMG in March 2021 to explore investment options for the brand, which is targeting sales of £100m. Revenues doubled to about £12m in the year ended 31 March 2021, surpassing the whole of 2018 and 2019 combined, as demand for DTC businesses soared throughout the Covid lockdowns in the UK.