Sarah Dean - Owner and Chair, Noble Foods - © Hannah Couzens

Source: Noble Foods 

The Happy Egg Co owner would continue to focus on eggs, while also leveraging opportunities in farming, milling and added value, Dean said

Egg giant Noble Foods has appointed owner Sarah Dean as its new chair.

Dean is the daughter of fellow Noble owner Peter Dean, who completed a management buyout of the business in 1991. She will replace food industry veteran Chris Bull – who was appointed in March 2021 – as chair of the business.

Noble Foods said Dean would “work closely” with the executive team led by CEO Duncan Everett “to guide the business forward in a challenging climate, with a focus on bringing the company’s purpose – ‘to better nourish people, animals and planet’ – to life”.

While eggs remained at the core of a business that owned brands including The Happy Egg Co, Dean also planned to develop it “by leveraging opportunities within milling (which recently benefited from the acquisition of Hi-Peak), poultry, agriculture and added value”, the supplier added. Noble also owns Plant Heads – which in 2020 launched Crackd – the UK’s first vegan liquid egg alternative.

“Noble Foods has been a family business since it was started as ‘Deans Farm’ by my great-grandfather in 1920,” Dean said.

“My father Peter Dean performed a management buyout in 1991 and I watched as his vision and entrepreneurship grew it rapidly from an egg packing company into a vertically integrated food business,” she added.

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“I have been working very closely with the board for the past three years and the time felt right for me to take on the role of chair to see our family values continue to influence the growth and strategic direction for the future.”

Dean thanked Bull “for his incredible support over the last year – his guidance has been invaluable in helping to shape our business”.

In taking over as chair at a time of an “incredibly challenging market”, her focus “must be on the long-term, to ensure business survival for many generations to come”, Dean suggested.

“The cost of animal feed, the war in Ukraine and rising inflation costs are hitting us all, both on a personal and on a business level. We are doing everything we can to protect all stakeholders from the volatility,” Dean added.

Noble Foods was taken back into family ownership in 2019, after the retirement of co-owner Michael Kent, who had been in business with Peter Dean since 2006.