As of last month, the Raynor family’s entire shareholding was transferred to an Employee-Owned Trust (EOT) in a move it described as a “benefit to all employees as a whole”.
As an EOT, the employees acquire a majority stake in the business as a group. This is held on trust, with employees then becoming involved in decision-making, strategy and direction via a committee.
The company made assurances that the decision would not cause any upheaval within the business and that the company would be run the same way by the same people.
People on the move
Becoming an employee-owned business did herald some movement of people within Raynor’s senior management team. While management of the company remained with the current directors, current interim head of finance Ian Aston has now taken on a permanent role as Finance Director.
Matthew and Heather Raynor will assume non-executive roles in an effort to keep their experience and technical skills within the business.
This year (2023) has been particularly busy for Raynor Foods. Since being crowned Chilled, Fresh and Dairy Manufacturer of the Year at the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards in February, the manufacturer has gone on to launch its long anticipated Digital Sandwich project.
The digital sandwich
Just over two years in the making, the project was awarded £4m by Innovate UK to develop a system that utilises advance Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain and artificial intelligence technology to enhance the level of traceability of ingredients in the production of commercial, pre-package sandwiches.
Speaking at the launch, innovation and technical director Tom Hollands said: “This is a ground-breaking and highly disruptive innovation that has created the foundations for a whole new virtual industry with the potential to transform not only the food industry but any manufacturing sector.”
Meanwhile, Asda Group has announced the acquisition of EG Group’s UK business for an enterprise value of more than £2bn.