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Warburtons ranked best food company to work for

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By James Ridler+

Last updated on 28-Feb-2017 at 17:32 GMT2017-02-28T17:32:12Z

Warburtons was named the best food manufacturer to work for by the Sunday Times
Warburtons was named the best food manufacturer to work for by the Sunday Times

Warburtons has been named the best food manufacturing employer in The Sunday Times’s list of The 30 Best Big Companies to work for 2017.

It was the only food manufacturing company to make it on the list, moving from 24th position in last year’s list. Retailers and professional services companies occupied a majority of positions.

Warburtons was also the only food company to make it on the list since the survey launched in 2001.

Chairman Jonathan Warburton said being the only food manufacturer to have appeared on the list for two consecutive years was a testament to the hard work and commitment of the business.

‘Tough industry to work in’

“The manufacturing and distribution sector continues to be a tough industry to work in and recruit for, but we are very proud to say that the 4,500 people who run our 26 bakery and depot sites continue to feel valued, well looked after and proud to work for us,” he said.

“This makes the honour of being on the Best Big Company list even more meaningful and makes our job so much more worthwhile.”

Warburton said that being recognised by the Sunday Times has raised the moral of the company’s staff.

This accolade encourages each individual to remain passionate and committed to implementing our longstanding business principles,” said Warburtons.

“This year we have improved the ways in which we support everyone, to ensure we make our family business a best place to work, for everyone, every day.”  

Warburton said the levels of engagement employees felt with their jobs had increased and it has continued to offer training and opportunities to further staff career prospects.

The Best Companies survey compiles the views of employees on eight key areas, including: wellbeing, leadership and personal development to give the business an overall ranking.

The Sunday Times classified big companies as businesses with over 3,000 employees. The survey took place in September 2016 and the results were announced last week (Friday 24 February).

857 organisations

A total of 857 organisations registered to take part in this year’s survey, with 82 new entries in the final line-up of 330.

Warburton added: “Warburtons is more ambitious and driven than ever before and this recognition enables us to both continue on our mission to be best for people and to recruit and retain the very best talent there is.”

Retailer Iceland also made this year’s list, retaining its 11th position from last year. For a full list of the firms featured in The Sunday Times’s 30 Best Big Companies to work for 2017, see the table below. 

Meanwhile, frozen ready meals producer Cook was named the best food firm in The Sunday Times’s 100 best mid-sized businesses – 250 to 3,000 employees – to work for. The company ranked 31st over-all, dropping two places from 28th last year. 

Organic baby food brand Ella’s kitchen came 22nd on the list of best Small and Medium Sized businesses to work for, up from 26th position last year. 


2017 Rank2016 RankCompanyBusiness DescriptionUK HeadquartersStaff
12Sytner GroupPrestige car retailerLeicester6,536
26Admiral GroupMotor insurerCardiff6,136
4NewMarkerstudy GroupMotor insurerSevenoaks3,002
54Bourne LeisureHolidays and leisureHemel Hempstead5,166
68McDonald's RestaurantsRestaurantsLondon37,124
9NewTSBFinancial servicesEdinburgh8,218
1015Savers Health and BeautyHealth and beauty retailerDunstable3,783
1111Iceland FoodsFrozen food retailerDeeside21,878
12NewMBDAMissle systemsStevenage3,125
1318HalfordsCycling and motoring retailerRedditch8,685
14NewM&CoFashion retailerGlasgow3,516
1616AXAFinancial servicesLondon8,059
1713EYProfessional ServicesLondon14,766
1820DeloitteProfessional ServicesLondon15,947
1917AtkinsEngineering consultancyLondon8,608
2014Merlin Entertainments GroupAttraction operatorPoole3,579
21NewDavid Lloyd LeisureHealth and fitnessHatfield6,530
2223TrustFordCar retailerColchester3,113
2324WarburtonsBread manufacturerBolton4,491
2422DPDgroupParcel deliveryWest Bromwich6,621
25NewOdeon UCI CinemasCinemasLondon5,525
26NewDFS TradingFurniture retailerDoncaster3,649
27NewEstée Lauder CompaniesCosmetics retailer/ manufacturerLondon8,975
2810LushCosmetics retailer/ manufacturerPoole4,038
29NewUK Power NetworksEnergy ProviderLondon5,588
30NewHeathrow AirportAirportHounslow6,477

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