THE FIRM: Your cut-out-and-keep guide to top employers

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47.princes group

In a nutshell: The number one importer and a leading supplier of canned foods within the UK and also the third largest soft drinks supplier. It employs 3,000 staff.

History: Princes was the brand name chosen by the company Simpson & Robert, when it founded its salmon and lobster importing business in Liverpool in the 1880s. The company, which imported fish from Canada and North America, soon changed its name to Princes but continued concentrating on its fish business throughout the twentieth century. More recently, however, it has made a number of acquisitions, including the brand and business of Napolina in 2001. In 2003 it also signed a deal with Virgin Cola to become the sole distributor and manufacturer of its entire drinks portfolio.

Brands you'd recognise: The company's Princes logo adorns many products, including various canned fish, meats and veg and pure fruit juice and juice drinks. But it also owns Napolina tomatoes, pasta, oils and sauces, Shippam's sandwich spreads, Jucee fruit squashes and Virgin-branded drinks, including its new Virgin Sours. Less well-known, maybe, is its Vier Diamanten brand of tuna products for the Austrian market.

The strategy: Strength through diversity seems to be the Princes way.

Where you'd work: Liverpool or Mauritius is the difficult choice you will have to make, as the company has plants in both. And if that wasn't enough, you could also work at Chichester, Belvedere, Bradford, Kidlington, Glasgow, Cardiff and Manchester, or even in Holland and Italy.

Do say at interview: Thanks for saving my fingers! (the company was the first in the UK to ditch that irritating key method of opening corned beef cans.)

Don't say at interview: What's that horrible pong? (the townsfolk of Chichester were long sufferers of the smells that emanated from the Shippam's factory in the town centre. But they can breathe easy now as the plant has been relocated to a less populated part of town.)

Contact: 0151 236 9282,

Related topics: People & Skills

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