Mark Adams, formerly of Geo Adams & Sons has died
Alongside many in the meat sector Meat Management was both shocked and saddened to learn of the unexpected death of Mark Adams, one of the British meat industry’s champions.
Born in August 1953, to parents George and Joan Adams, Mark was the third generation to enter the family business of George Adams and Sons Ltd., in Spalding, Lincolnshire.
The company was formed in 1910 by his grandfather who started a chain of butchers’ shops which ultimately grew into one of the UK’s largest meat processing companies, Geo Adams & Sons, which included the prepared foods and sliced cooked meat business Adams Pork Products. By the time it was acquired by Danish Crown in 2007 the operations had five production facilities with 2,000 employees and a combined annual turnover of €241 million.
Like his father before him, Mark was a tremendous supporter and champion of the Worshipful Company of Butchers, joining the Livery in 1979 and serving as Master in 2012 and then as a Past Master and member of the Court.
He gave his time generously to supporting industry and had a long involvement with the Federation of Fresh Meat Wholesalers (that ultimately became today’s BMPA), representing the organisation in Brussels in his twenties and learnt good French as a result.
He was introduced to the business early on having been given his own apron and delivery basket at the tender age of five. In an interview with the late Raymond Monbiot CBE he said: “I was out on the rounds with one of the delivery ladies each Saturday morning.”
Throughout his school years Mark, (who was christened George Christopher, Mark) went with his father, George, to livestock markets and visited their business’s retail shops whenever he could.
Mark quickly became used to handling cattle, sheep and pigs, and his and his family’s expertise ensured the business never stood still.
At school in Oakham it was maths, physics and economics that caught his interest. He went on to Aston University in Birmingham to read Administrative Science. Mark once commented: “Father was not too sure about university ‘long hair and education’ so he bought a shop in Leamington Spa so that I could work on Saturdays! I left university a competent butcher, sheep buyer and slaughterman, with a good degree.”
At its height Geo Adams & Sons had pig farming, slaughtering and manufacturing divisions producing pies, sausages, hams and other pork products.
As part of a family dynasty in the meat trade Mark worked hard and helped others, making and retaining numerous friendships. He enjoyed shooting, often in a syndicate, whose members were all in the meat trade.
He also loved old cars, as did his father, and an Aston Martin DB4 that he inherited from George was one of his pride and joys. Inside and out of work he always said that he liked developing relationships with people and saw enthusiasm about the trade as essential. He will be remembered for those qualities and more, and gave his time and counsel to help mentor others. He will be missed by many in the WCB Livery and those in the wider industry whose careers he helped develop.
Our thoughts are with his partner Liz, his children and wider family at this sad time.