Who we are

Plant-based vegetarian burger with sundried tomatoes and red onion picklesWe are the # 1 UK supplier of chilled Mediterranean and plant-based foods. Innovative and dynamic, we have a history of establishing and developing new categories for retail and foodservice.

Working with our customers, often becoming a virtual extension of their teams, we help them grow and lead the way in their markets.

With over 450 employees across four locations, our passionate team spans NPD, technical, supply chain, production, procurement, marketing, engineering, and warehouse, to offer the complete end-to-end process.

Did you know?

1

we’re the #1 supplier for olives, antipasti, and continental meats to the UK retail market

2018

the year we began our plant-based journey. We’ve since been responsible for more plant-based growth than anyone else in the UK

21

years ago, we launched the first self-serve olive bar in a UK supermarket

27

nationalities work across our locations – a truly talented international workforce

593

– the number of supply partners, farmers and growers we work with across Europe

837

thousand pounds – the amount raised, for Action Against Hunger, via our unearthed® brand

Our vision

Our vision

We start with the world’s great food traditions and, through understanding how people shop, cook and eat, we develop fresh and flavourful products that delight them and become part of their lives.

We try to improve every stage of the supply chain by balancing efficiency, sustainability, and quality. We use technology, rigorous process, and collaborative relationships to overcome challenges where they arise, and to proactively create new ideas in manufacturing, transport, and agriculture.

Above all, we never lose sight of our mission to put delicious food on people’s plates.

Our Values

Responsible

For growing and influencing our categories for the farm to fork process sustainability and ethics. Always considering our colleague, communities and stakeholders.

Enterprising

Thinking outside the box, prepared to act and make decision quickly when the need arises, being flexible and adaptable.

Creative

Seeking out and producing innovative, creative and unique solutions to both customers and partners which add real value.

Passionate

Understanding consumers and developing truly great products for them. Above all passionate about food.

Our culture

Working in our business is sometimes challenging, but always exciting and rewarding.

Whether at a manufacturing site or at our head office, the sense of ‘one family’ is strong. Projects bringing together cross-functional and cross-site teams are delivering superior results and we’re proud of everything we achieve.

We’re constantly evolving and growing, but our business is always driven by our passion – to deliver happiness through food.

Join our team

Our culture

Our team

Here are just a few of the passionate individuals who work in our business across our locations.

 
Damian Shaw - CCO

Damian is our Chief Executive Officer. After spending nearly a decade learning to be a food retailer with Sainsbury he joined us in 2003 to share best practice and grow our chilled food commercial team.

Seeing the varied range of consumers who purchase our fantastic products from supermarket shelves is an element of the job that never disappoints. He enjoys being immersed in a team that discovers, innovates and manages. It makes him proud that every day of the week they bring the best tasting food from across Europe, to the UK consumer.

With so much choice his favourite Winterbotham Darby product changes on a regular basis but it is often marinated anchovies or any of the Vadasz products.

 
Simona Cascione Commercial Director

Simona Cascione is our Chief Commercial Officer. She joined us in 2008 and has extensive experience across all of our product categories. Driven by the belief that growth is the sweet spot of understanding the consumers’ needs, quality food and an ambitious team, she loves the excitement of our fast-paced business.

Her typical working day would include travelling in search of great food, meeting customers and find solutions to exciting ideas.

Our Giant Nocellara olives and our grilled artichokes are her favourite products.

 

Matt McAuliffe is our head of Product Development and Inspiration.  He’s been with us since 2014 after 10 years at M&S.  He counts himself lucky that he’s made his passion for all things food into a career and has an amazing range of product areas to play with.

A key part of his role is ensuring our products stay relevant to the consumers in an ever-changing and fast paced world, reinventing if they don’t and using trends to deliver the ones they didn’t know they wanted.

His favourite product (amongst a long list) is our spicy authentic Italian ‘nduja 

 
Marco Aguas - Head of International Business Development

Marco Águas  is our Head of International Business Development. He joined our technical team back in 2008 and has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things Mediterranean.

Fast forward and he’s now part of our expansion into the International market. Selling our products across the world and having great success with our unearthed® brand in the US.

Being Portuguese, it’s only natural that Marco’s favourite product is our unearthed® Pastel De Nata

 
James - Process lead

James is one of our newest members of the team, having recently joined the plant-based family in Bicester. As Process Lead, he is responsible for launching new plant-based products and also looking at how we can improve our production processes.

Early on, he identified an area for improvement with regards to set up and operation of one of our larger mixers. This means that it will be easier to remove product from the mixer and increase yield –plus, most critically, it will reduce food waste at the site, too.

His favourite product is a plant-based (not surprisingly) firecracker chicken.

 
Wendy - H&S Advisor and HR

Wendy wears two hats at Bicester – H&S Advisor and HR. She supports line managers with recruitment, on-boarding and induction, plus payroll and HR admin. Throughout our fit-out transition, she was supporting our 20 Bicester-based operatives, who were in local accommodation, close to our manufacturing site in Redhill.

As lockdown hit and hotels closed, accommodating these ‘key’ workers was impossible. Wendy’s solution involved a coach company who was able to transport the operatives, on a daily basis, to and from Bicester, to ensure production continued. This involved not only adapting to constantly changing government regulations but also shift patterns, provision of food for the team, and compliance with coach driver regulations. As a result, production output matched demand and workers remained fit and healthy.

Her favourite product is Squeaky Bean Sweet Smokey BBQ

 
Agnes - NPD process technologist

Agnes works in the NPD department at our olives and antipasti site in Clitheroe. As a Process Technologist, she gets involved in all elements of a new product launch from concept, to trial and pre-production – ensuring things comply with quality, safety and product expectation.

One of our customers wanted to use a new, easy-peel film, not previously used on site. Agnes’ desire for excellence saw her spending time in production to achieve the precise settings to allow an existing film to be used. A win/win which delighted the customer.

Her favourite product is our Goat’s Cheese and Red Pepper Mezze

 
Chris - Innovation, efficiency and improvement

Chris is one of a few staff who have not only worked within several different teams but has also transferred from our head office to our olives and antipasti manufacturing site. His role is about developing and implementing ways to make the site more efficient.
He’s skilled at managing and developing team members. And his growing knowledge of manufacturing, obtained from both our Bicester and Clitheroe sites, has enabled him to create tools to measure and increase output of production and packing lines with great success. As a result, we have clearer visibility on our factory downtime and line performance.

Chris loves our award-winning Squeaky Bean Fluffy American pancakes.

 
Irek - Senior production Supervisor

Irek is based at our second site in Clitheroe. As Production Supervisor he created and manages the 20-strong team who prepare, process and pack our delicious cold brined pickles and ferments.

Not only is he a great people person and communicator, but he is always looking for ways to improve efficiency. He re-purposed a redundant piece of kit, from another site, to reduce vegetable prep time. So it now just takes one operative 2 hours, instead of three people a whole morning to prepare.

When he’s not making it, he loves eating our Vadasz Raw Garlic & Dill Sauerkraut

 
Seb_supply and demand planning

After moving up through the supply chain team, Sebastian is now a team leader for our Demand and Planning team. One of his roles is to ‘join up’ the supply and demand planning function by developing forecast & inventory strategies based on promotions, new lines, delists & other external events.

During a busy lockdown, he effectively managed our products, which led to our business delivering results that exceeded expectations of both ourselves and our retailers.

When we’ve a giveaway, he’ll always pick the Brunswick Ham.

 
Katharine - technical manager

Katharine is based at our site in Bicester – now our home of plant-based. She has an expert technical knowledge and her wealth of experience has ensured that our site consistently maintains a Grade AA+ rating for food safety standards from The British Retail Consortium. Also that we gain top ratings at all of our customer audits.

She’s a sucker for our Double Stuffed Halkidiki Olives but has had to accept that they won’t grow on her allotment!

 
Peter - customer co-ordinator and satisfaction

Peter is responsible for processing customer & supplier orders and also arranging UK & international transport. He had the idea to streamline our transport booking process by using one of our hauliers’ portals.

This has saved him enough time to focus on order efficiency which has resulted in zero foodservice team waste.

He’s a big fan of Squeaky Bean Kick of Tikka ready-to-eat plant-based chicken pieces.

Our instagram

Follow us

We first bought chorizo to the UK in 1990 and it's still so popular 31 years later! Whatever the weather this Spanish favourite is amazing in a range of dishes. It certainly doesn't disappoint in this delicious potato and chorizo hash with some delicious runny eggs nestled on the top. Breakfast or lunch, you decide. What's your favourite chorizo dish? ...

Although nothing compares to seeing photographs hanging in a gallery , this 'virtual' exhibition of the 2021 @foodphotoaward is a close second. It gives a taster of what is to come in November when an exhibition of this year's finalists goes live at @royalphotographicsociety. Click on the link in our bio and take a wander round - not forgetting to check out Winterbotham Darby Food For Sale, obviously. ...

If you're in this weekend (and let's face it - most of us are) then why take a foodie trip with @marksandspencer's Italian night family dine in. Call us biased but we love the 'Nduja Meatballs with Pappardelle which is a dish in the deal. *whispers* It might be something to do with the fact that the 'nduja is one of our favourite products. And that we supply it through our foodservice team. But, despite our bias it really is a star in our range of Italian continental products and that's what we're about - delivering fresh and flavourful products. ...

🏆 Congrats to @smithfoto59 🏆 - winner of our Food For Sale category at last night's @foodphotoaward with his image Street Vendor. 📸 A gorgeous picture with beautiful tones. We can't but marvel at the ingenuity of the woman's stall made out of a pram - perfect for mobile sales.
We love this category as it's so close to our hearts (being in the business of selling food ourselves) and echoes our passion for delivering happiness through food.
To see all of the finalist images across the awards click the link in our bio ☝️
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Delighted, once again to be part of the @foodphotoaward and to sponsor the Food For Sale category. Good luck to all the shortlisted photographers and filmmakers. We'll be watching with our fingers crossed for you all later
🤞🏿🤞🏾🤞🏽🤞🏼🤞🏻

It’s finally here!
Join us this evening 20:00BST on @youtube to celebrate the @foodphotoaward Awards hosted by @fred_sirieix
Reposted from @foodphotoaward
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We've been friends with Spanish continental meats since 1992 when we first introduced them to the UK market. They've gone from strength to strength becoming a firm favourite with many shoppers. Today it's a brunch of dreams featuring Spanish chistorra, tomatoes, cubed potatoes and eggs. One pan, MAXIMUM flavour and minimal washing up. What's your brunch favourite? ...

#Fact - in one single day this week, we produced a record-breaking 213,000 pots of olives and antipasti. So it's official, the British consumer loves olives! Are you a lover or a hater? ...

We're big fans of the med diet and the tomato is so integral to that. So today we're closing our eyes, opening a pot of @foodsunearthed slow roasted tomatoes and savouring the memories of being somewhere warm and sunny. Extremely versatile, they can be enjoyed straight out of the pot, or are great as an ingredient - just like in these cous-cous and roasted tomato stuffed peppers. How do you prefer to eat yours? ...

📣 If you're vegan, a flexitarian or just like tasty food - then this is one for you. New ready-to-eat @squeakybeanveg Chargrilled🔥 Cajun Mini Fillets. No messing around. The taste and texture are a game changer. Well done to the plant-based team for creating something magical - now available in 200 @asda stores ...

Happy day of chocolate 🍫 . Celebrate with pimped up pancakes plus a drizzle of chocolate sauce and fruit. Oh and to top it off we added cream. But this isn't just any old pancake stack - it's a VEGAN stack (check out our very own @squeakybeanveg) as it's all plant-based on here. Enjoy your day and tell us what you're eating? ...

With a long weekend ahead of us, we can take it easy right? More time for lazy mornings which means a nice brunch. We've made ours with smoked brunswick ham, but you could add prosciutto, parma or speck for a touch of decandce. Add tea, coffee or juice and RELAX 🍳 ☕ ...

🐟 If you love fish then this is one for you - pan fried cod with roasted vegetables, rosemary roasted potatoes and sliced chorizo. Chorizo is one of our most popular continental meat products. Many years on after we first launched it to the UK retail market consumers love it just as much as they always have done. What's your favourite way to eat chorizo? happy Friday 🐟 ...

📣 The long awaited shortlist for the @foodphotoaward is now live!! 📷 This year has seen a bumper crop of gorgeously creative entries. We're delighted to see what's in our 'Food For Sale' category. So grab a drink, click above and scroll through to see what gorgeous images have been shortlisted. Is one of yours on there - let us know? Click the link in our bio to go straight to our 'Food for Sale' category ⬆️ ...

We understand consumers and we know that on shelf appeal and pack stand-out is so important. After research and trial, our @foodsunearthed brand have re-designed their packs using stronger, eye catching use of colour and a disruptive use of pattern (we love that nod to the Med too). Look out for new olive packs in @waitrose and @ocadouk. What's your favourite? ...

It's might be #BritishPieWeek but we think it's perfectly acceptable to add a little continental twist. Our pancetta, either smoked or unsmoked, is great to add to add flavour. Just like in this chicken & mushroom pie. The ultimate in comfort, made with authentic ingredients. We deliver happiness through food. What's your favourite pie? ...

Today is National Pig Day. Our welfare journey began in 2000 & since then we've been improving the welfare of pigs by working with @CIWF

We're committed to the following: + considerably more space for each pig + larger breeding facilities for each sow + free farrowing and +no pigs subjected to tail docking or teeth clipping.

These commitments have led to us, along with some of closest farming partners, to win awards and achieve what was considered 'impossible' in Europe. We thank them all for their dedication and pledge to continue the work with them.
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What does the future of sustainable pig farming look like? Why not join our webinar on Fri 26th March (09.45 - 12.00 GMT) and find out. We’ll set the scene on the future for food, sustainability and livestock, share some case studies, but also talk about how we can validate the data. Plus we’ll run a panel discussion to wrap things up. 🐷 🐖

The line-up includes speakers from Food Ethics Council, University of Leeds and Authenticate, as well as a panel discussion hosted by CIEL Livestock. Click the link in our bio to register. ⬆️
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We've done it! We've won 'Plant Based Manufacturing Company of the Year' at the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards. Great recognition for a mammoth project. We spotted a gap in the plant-based market for ready-to-eat chicken style pieces so created a unique product (@squeakybeanveg) with great taste and texture. We secured investment & fitted out a brand new 100% plant-based site to manufacture it - all in 13 months. So great to get recognition for that. Congratulations to the entire #team ...

Quick quiz..🤔 You knew this was a) plant-based and b) that you could get this kind of deliciousness in a box, delivered to your door, ready to cook? Right? If not then check out @hellofreshuk who now include @vivera_UK in their plant-based boxes. Big thumbs up to our #foodservice team who have been involved in the project too. ...