Greencore Group plc
Traded as LSE: GNC
Founded Dublin, Ireland (1991)
Headquarters Dublin, Ireland
Key people
Gary Kennedy Chairman
Patrick Coveney, CEO
Products Convenience Foods
Revenue £1,340.3 million (2015)[1]
£83.0 million (2015)[1]
£59.0 million (2015)[1]

Greencore Group plc is a food company in Ireland. Established by the Irish government in 1991 when they privatised Irish Sugar, today its lines span mainly convenience food related interests in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom. Greencore is today the world's largest sandwich manufacturer. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.


The company was established in 1926 in Carlow as a private enterprise known as the Irish Sugar Manufacturing Company, Limited. The Sugar Manufacture Act, 1933[2] was passed to promote self-sufficiency in sugar manufacture; this act was brought on by a crisis in the industry and resulted in the nationalisation of sugar manufacture. After the passing of this act factories were built in Mallow, Thurles and Tuam and the company became Cómhlucht Siúicre Éireann, Teoranta, the Irish for Irish Sugar Company, Limited. The Thurles and Tuam factories were closed in the early 1980s after a rationalisation became necessary and the company decided to concentrate manufacture at its Carlow and Mallow factories.

The Sugar Act, 1991[3] privatised the entity and it became Greencore at that time. The act was passed as the company had diversified beyond being a sugar manufacturing company into other food products. 55% of the group was listed on the Irish Stock Exchange that year, over the years additional placements have led to almost 100% of the shares now being in private hands. The exception is that the Irish Government holds a special share certificate (value EUR 1.26) in Irish Sugar Limited in order to prevent the Irish sugar quota being sold without its consent.[1]

In 2005 the company announced that it would close its factory in Carlow, ceasing production on March 11. In March 2006 it was announced that the last remaining factory would close in Mallow, and this closure occurred on May 12. The reason indicated for these closures has been the reform of European Union policies on sugar which reduced the quotas and subsidies available and therefore making its manufacture unprofitable in Ireland.[4]

In October 2009 Nordzucker announced that it had bought Greencore's 50% stake in its joint venture SugarPartners. As part of the deal, Nordzucker acquired the Siucra, McKinney and Castle brands from the company.[5]

On 10 November 2010, the European Court of Auditors found that the closure of the last Greencore sugar plant in Mallow in 2006 may not have been necessary.[6]

The company was due to merge with Northern Foods in 2011 to form Essenta Foods, to be headquartered in Dublin but listed on the London Stock Exchange.[7] The deal, however, fell through after businessman Ranjit Singh Boparan outbid Greencore to win the approval of Northern Foods shareholders, on 21 January 2011.[8]

On 12 July 2011, Greencore announced it intended to buy Uniq plc. The deal closed in November 2011, with Uniq resultantly delisting from the London Stock Exchange.[9]

On 25 July, 2016, the company acquired The Sandwich Factory Holdings Ltd for £15m from Cranswick plc.[10][11] On 14 November 2016, Greencore announced it would acquire US Based Peacock Foods for $747.5m, significantly expanding its presence in the country.[12]


Knapton Maltings in North Yorkshire

Greencore is the world’s largest maker of sandwiches - 350 million a year - with a 36% share of the UK market, supplying to Tesco, Asda, Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury's and Waitrose.[13] As well as sandwiches, Greencore also manufacture a range of supermarket own brand ready meals, sauces, cakes and puddings at several sites across the UK and US, a selection of these sites are listed below:

Kiveton Production and Distribution Sites

The main Kiveton site in located on the west of Mansfield Road, Wales was originally the Sutherland potted meat factory, which was acquired by Greencore in 2001 when it bought Hazelwood Foods PLC, by this time Kiveton had also developed into a ready meal production site, as well as continued production of Sutherland potted meats. This site is also the main UK distribution hub for the ready meal sector and also houses a research and development kitchen for the ready meal sector. On the opposite (east) side of Mansfield Road from the main Kiveton site is a smaller regional sandwich distribution centre, this RDC as well as operating its own fleet of distribution vans also operates a fleet of larger distribution vehicles ranging from 7.5 tonne to 44 tonne articulated lorries for distribution of sandwiches and wraps from the nearby Manton Wood sandwich factory along with sushi from the Crosby site, to other regional distribution centres throughout the UK.

See also


External links

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