Samworth Brothers pays tribute to founder Sir David Samworth, CBE DL

Samworth Brothers pays tribute to founder Sir David Samworth, CBE DL

British food manufacturer Samworth Brothers has paid tribute to its founder and life president Sir David Samworth, who has passed away at the age of 87.

In a statement, Samworth Brothers said that Sir David had helped “shape the modern food industry over a long and successful business career” and also “gave distinguished service in many other roles, including as a philanthropist, public servant, soldier and devoted family man.”

Quality business

Mark Samworth, current chairman of Samworth Brothers (Holdings) Ltd., and Sir David’s son, said that David and John Samworth’s “vision, drive and values [had] laid down the strong foundations of [the] business and which drove such outstanding success.”

He explained: “He placed great importance on people as the cornerstone of any successful organisation and always sought to create a working environment that reflected this ethos. He also believed quality had to be at the heart of any business, whether that was quality of facilities, the product, customer service or our relationship with suppliers. He was enormously proud of the business and the achievements of everyone in Samworth Brothers.”

Born in Birmingham, Sir David  had two elder brothers and a younger sister. Their grandfather and uncle had all been in the wholesale pork industry. Sir David and his family built up the Pork Farms business before selling it to Northern Foods in 1978.

When Sir David stepped down as Samworth Brothers group chief executive in 1999, the company’s revenue had grown from £1 million in 1977 to £200 million. Today, the Group is a £1.4 billion turnover business.

Sir David also played an active role in the wider food sector throughout his career. He served as chairman of the Meat and Livestock Commission from 1980-84, receiving a CBE for his work, and was a council member of Food From Britain.

He was also president of the BMMA for a number of years – the forerunner of today’s BMPA.

He was a non-executive and later executive director of Imperial Group from 1982 to 1984 and a non-executive director of Thorntons Ltd from 1991 to 1993. 

Samworth Brothers added: “David was a strong champion of traditional regional foods, supporting the successful applications for Protected Geographical Indicator (PGI) status for Melton Mowbray pork pies and the Cornish pasty.”

Education was always a particular interest for Sir David and the much admired Samworth Foundation has supported the establishment and development of three Academies in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire, as well as other international education projects.

Sir David and his wife Rosemary set up the Samworth Foundation in 1978 with a desire to give back to their local community and to support other international causes, particularly in Africa.

Details of a thanksgiving service will be circulated in due course.

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