Premier Foods

The Best in British Food

How We Are Organised

As Britain's largest food producer, Premier Foods is committed to delivering the taste the British love, with food that's made in Britain by people who understand British consumers.  We supply a range of retail, wholesale, foodservice and other customers with some of Britain's best loved brands, including Ambrosia, Batchelors, Bisto, Loyd Grossman, Mr. Kipling, OXO and Sharwood’s. We employ around 4,000 people operating from over 15 sites across the country.

Our significant network ensures that fresh ingredients are delivered into our operations and our products are made to the highest standard of quality and taste.  Once our food is produced and packed, we have to ensure that it is delivered to our customers at the right time.

Our head office is based in St Albans, and we have a finance centre in Manchester. Most of our key functions are based at one or both of these locations. 

Take a look at how our business works by reading more about what our functions do and some of our employee stories.  

Sectors

Human Resources Toggle
Human Resources (HR) incorporates Employee Relations, Learning and Development, Organisational Development, Talent Management, Pensions, Resourcing and Reward.

The HR team is split between our head office in St Albans, where there is a small central team, and our manufacturing operations and distribution centres, where depending on size of the site, there will be an HR team. HR is responsible for supporting our functions to attract and recruit people into our business. They also ensure that we have the right processes in place to provide relevant career development opportunities, training to carry out current and future roles, as well as making sure we have a motivating and cost effective pay and benefits system.

Corporate Affairs Toggle
Corporate Affairs manage our corporate communications, both externally and internally, as well as our Sustainability agenda.

The team strives to proactively improve the diversity and quality of all our communications channels that are available to our employees, shareholders, media and business partners. This includes our company intranet, website and editorial pipeline. They initiate collaborative projects with other teams to enhance how we communicate to different audiences and improve how information is cascaded. The team also works to ensure we are buying responsibly, being an environmentally friendly company and reporting on how we are embedding sustainability targets into the way the business operates. They also manage our Corporate Charity Partnership and develop fundraising initiatives alongside our network of charity and communications champions across the sites.

Finance Toggle
Finance has the responsibility for providing Premier Foods with accurate reporting, robust financial systems, and rigour when setting budgets such as marketing expenditure or new product development as well as exploring opportunities for investment.

Millions of financial transactions are processed each week in our business, and it requires team work and collaboration to make sure these are correctly managed and that the business receives the timely, accurate data required to support its decisions. Many of these transactions are managed from our Premier Business Service centre in Manchester.

My Role at Premier Foods

I am part of the Business Planning team in Finance. We’re responsible for providing forecast information and analysis to senior management as well as external stakeholders and our lending banks.

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Information Systems & Change Toggle
Information Systems and Change (ISC) supports and facilitates all aspects of our business by encouraging common ways of working and deploying innovative technologies to deliver best in class systems and processes.

The emergence of social networks and mobility through smart phones is also creating a rapidly changing market from a user perspective and the ISC team works to respond to these demands, along with ensuring reliable connectivity for our people and our business partners. Like many of our functions, ISC spans the entire business and the team works out of our St Albans, Eastleigh and Manchester offices, where we have specialist service centres dedicated to evolving and maintaining our information platforms.

Legal & Co Sec Toggle
Legal provides a high level of strategic support for the business, either leading or advising on all legal maters.

The Legal team ensures that Premier Foods achieves its corporate and commercial objectives in a manner that ensures compliance and the appropriate management of legal risk. This includes advice and management of commercial contracts with customers and suppliers, corporate projects, dispute resolution, provision of legal training and regulatory matters. Within Legal, the Company Secretariat team provides a full range of company secretarial services that are designed to ensure compliance with statutory obligations. Company Secretariat is also responsible for our employee share schemes, arranging shareholder meetings and project managing our Annual Report & Accounts. Our Intellectual Property team is primarily tasked with the overall management of the company’s trademarks, designs and patents.The Internal Audit team is an independent and objective function that sits within Legal but with a formal reporting line to the Board’s Audit committee. The team provide assurance to them on the operation of internal controls within the company and visit all our sites to ensure we have the appropriate reportable audit trails in place.

Marketing Toggle
Marketing has the enviable job of investing in and developing some of the nation’s most loved and iconic brands.

Foodies at heart, the Marketing team is as creative as it is passionate about all our brands, which all have a rich British heritage. The team is responsible for creating the advertising and promotional campaigns for all our brands as well as the design of all our packaging. Whether it’s another epic TV ad from Hovis, new packaging for the nation’s latest favourite Mr. Kipling cake or an innovative product like Wrap Kits from Sharwood’s, the team is responsible for all of the creative planning and execution of all our marketing and packaging designs. They are based at our head office in St Albans. Within Marketing, they have an Insights and Innovation team that provides invaluable consumer research and identifies new trends. Together with our Brand Marketing teams, they work with our Technical team to identify the development of new products, extension of current ranges or reformulation of products to meet increasing consumer demand for high quality innovative products that taste great. 2012 was a significant year for the Marketing team. Premier Foods significantly up-weighted its marketing spend by 40 per cent compared to the previous year and seven out of our eight Power Brands have been or are currently being advertised on TV. In addition, we are creating more radio, outside and in-store advertising than ever before.

My Role at Premier Foods

I work as a Brand Director across all of our cake brands – Cadburys, Lyons and Mr. Kipling. Usually, as soon as I wake up I review Twitter and Facebook to see what our consumers are saying about our brands.

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Operations Toggle
Operations is responsible for the manufacture and distribution of quality products to our customers, exactly when and where they need them – delivering operational excellence all day, every day.

The Operations team run a 24/7 operation featuring some of the most advanced manufacturing systems and equipment in the UK, and are always striving to deliver best in class service, come rain or shine. They focus first and foremost on food safety and on the health and safety of our employees. We are proud to have been recognised by ROSPA as Food & Drink Category Award winners in 2 of the last 3 years. Sustainability is also high priority for the Operations team at all our sites beginning with the ingredients we buy, where more than 80% of our ingredients are sourced from UK based suppliers, as well as sponsoring a range of local community activities. They are also constantly seeking to improve our environmental performance by reducing waste to landfill and cutting CO2 emissions.

My role at Premier Foods

One of the best things about my role is that there is no typical day. I can be running projects at a number of sites across the UK, with a huge variety in scale and complexity. One day I could be managing minor process improvements to existing equipment and the next, installing new equipment and structures. I love the excitement of being involved in so many different and challenging aspects of the business and getting to interact with such a cross functional group of people.

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Procurement Toggle
Procurement is responsible for the purchase of £1.4bn worth of goods and services each year and ensures that they are brought at the best possible price and meet the needs of Premier Foods in terms of location, quality, quantity and time.

They work with a wide range of people in the business to identify sourcing requirements, develop current strategy and negotiate commercial terms. We are split into three key teams. The Direct Procurement team covers ingredients and packaging, which are all the items that go into or around our products, for example ingredients including cocoa, vegetables, fruit, sugar and milk, as well as packaging including glass jars, cans, plastic tubs and pots. Within this, a separate wheat team cover the purchasing and milling of wheat and ensure that we only buy flour milled from 100% British Wheat. The Indirect Procurement team manages everything else we need to help us make our products, run our sites or support the sales and marketing teams. The Business Improvement Process team work with Operations to help them create innovative approaches to identify cost savings as well as improvements to process, packaging and recipes.

Sales Toggle
Sales manage and develop the relationships between Premier Foods and its customers, with the aim of forging long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships that drive category growth.

The Sales team have a varied customer base as a result of the wide range of products that we sell, as well as the retail categories that they span. Customers include major UK supermarket chains, smaller high street or convenience retailers, wholesalers or even pub and restaurant groups. They also sell some of brands to overseas customers through our international team. Sales is continually developing close working relationships with our customers, interacting with them regularly in order to increase an understanding of their priorities and requirements. In turn, they are supported by a commercial strategy and planning team, based largely at our head office in St Albans whose job it is to provide data and commercial rigour to improve the decisions that we make. Within Sales, sit the Category and Shopper Marketing teams. They are responsible for ensuring that our sales plans drive the development of the categories within which we operate and that we work with our customers to design and execute the best in-store promotions and displays.

My Role at Premier Foods

My day starts with a run near to our head office in St Albans to clear my mind and get prepared for the day ahead. While eating a slice of Hovis toast, I review my list of things to do and review what is realistic given the meetings I have in my diary and what may crop up.

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Technical Toggle
Technical is the guardian of quality in our products and processes. It is also responsible, in collaboration with Marketing, for creating more innovative and tasty products.

Innovation comes in many forms; from packaging, through to recipe changes through to entirely new products and ranges. We use our ‘Innovation Kitchen’ process to bring new products to market and manage change to the existing portfolio. It has been designed to accelerate product innovation and development enabling flawless delivery of fewer, bigger and better projects. The quality of our product is of paramount importance. Our consumers expect a consistently high standard of product, and our Technical team constantly works with Operations to benchmark product quality at each stage of production and ensure we get it right every time. Great quality is achieved through having reliable and effective systems to manage it, so the team has a key role to play in ensuring that these systems are in place and adhered to. This covers everything from standard operating procedures, to training and training records, to pest control, to quality control. This applies not just to our own facilities and processes but we also apply these checks with our suppliers. In addition, the Technical team have an ongoing cycle of audits from our customers designed to ensure compliance but also support our ongoing efforts to continuously improve.

My Role at Premier Foods

I head up a small team of chefs who work with all our brands but focus mainly on our Power Brands. It’s our job to come up with exciting ideas for new products and help turn those ideas into tasty food for consumers.

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