Name: L J Fairburn and Son
Industry/sector: Food and drink
Date founded: 1951
The boss: Daniel Fairburn
Location: East Midlands
Latest turnover: £30.7m
Three-year compound growth rate (%): 35.23
Latest EBITDA: £4.3m
Leslie Fairburn bought his first 150 chickens and began his business in egg production, selling directly to the Co-operative in the 1960s. Now rearing in excess of two million birds, and milling over 80,000 tonnes of feed each year, L J Fairburn and Son is owned by Stuart and Judy Fairburn and run by their son, managing director Daniel Fairburn.
Led by old fashioned family values, according to the company’s website, the business is far from antiquated. Investment in innovative technology and buildings have helped stream line the business and future proof it too. Welfare is at the top of the agenda, for birds and staff alike. After all, the family motto is “feed the chickens before you feed yourself!”
In February 2013 the first stage of the development of a new and innovative 33,000 square foot packing centre at Burgh-Le-Marsh was completed. This has allowed Fairburn to pack in a 900,000 bird colony for egg production, who allow the company to produce 330 cases per hour.
L J Fairburn recently celebrated being listed in the London Stock Exchange Group’s 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain 2015 for the second year running.
According to Fairburn, 2014 was a remarkable year for the family farming business. The company left the Noble Foods group and started marketing its eggs independently. By “going it alone” the company has been able to secure major national retail contracts, expand and invest dramatically in the business, and win the IGD Awards for Business Transformation – whereby the family beat corporate brands such as ASDA Home and Quorn Foods to the top spot.
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