Due to Duchy Originals’ charitable status, the deal wouldn’t be an outright acquisition. Instead, Waitrose would take over Duchy Originals’ production and back-office operations. In return, Waitrose would have exclusive rights to sell the Duchy Originals range of biscuits, condiments, meat and soups.
The Duchy Originals company was set up by the Prince of Wales in 1990 and named after the Duchy of Cornwall estates, which are owned by his Trust.
The recession has dealt a cruel blow to his business, with profits plunging by 70 per cent last year. Waitrose will have an even tougher time rescuing the brand now that the Foods Standards Agency has revealed that organic food does absolutely nothing to improve health or offer any more nutritional benefits than non-organic food.