Meat firm Yorkshire Game gets new owners

Meat supplier Yorkshire Game has been supplying game and vension since 1983

A gourmet food business that fell into insolvency has been taken over by its current md and the former boss of Ragu and Aunt Bessie’s maker Symingtons.

Yorkshire Game, which specialises in game and venison, has been bought by David Salkeld, who was chief executive of Symingtons for nine years, and Adrian Lyons, who has been running the business since 2014.

Lyons will continue as md of the company, which entered into a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) in February.

A CVA enables a company to pay creditors over a fixed period in return for being allowed to trade again. It must be approved by creditors that are owed at least 75% of the debt.

Based in Richmond, North Yorkshire, Yorkshire Game lists wild venison, grouse, pheasant, partridge, wild duck, woodpigeon, hare and rabbit as its most popular products.

Marks & Spencer

It supplies supermarkets, including Marks & Spencer, along with wholesalers, butchers and foodservice companies.

Salkeld, who left Symingtons in October 2016, brings 30 years’ experience at director level to the company.

Prior to Symingtons, he was group chief executive officer at Grampian Country Food Group, chief executive officer at Arla Foods and md at Northern Dairies.

Law firm Walker Morris advised on the purchase of the business and the assets of Yorkshire Game.

Richard Naish, head of the food and drink group at Walker Morris said: “Yorkshire Game is a strong heritage brand, which prides itself on delivering a high-quality product.

‘Experience and industry knowledge’

“The experience and industry knowledge that David and Adrian are able to bring to the company will help to reinforce its specialist expertise and strategic direction.”

Yorkshire Game was founded in 1983 by Sandy and Louis Baxter, who initially began buying feathered and furred game from local estates and supplying it to local restaurants, butchers and wholesalers.

In 2005, the business was taken over by brothers Ben and Percy Weatherall, who relocated the operation to its current 2,000m2 processing site.

New equipment and processes were bought in 2015, in a move that more than doubled its capacity.

In 2015, Mintel earmarked the game meat sector as one of the top markets to watch in a report that identified the top 50 markets around the globe.

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