Tributes paid to Chris Harrison, poultry industry leader

Tributes have been paid to Chris Harrison, who spent his career as a leader in the poultry industry, after he died on 16 January after contracting COVID-19.

Nigel O’Donnell, managing director of Meadow Vale Foods, said: “It is with great sadness that we confirm the passing away of Chris Harrison, our great friend and colleague. As founding director of Deemak International, Chris played a pivotal role in the development of our business, developing the procurement and supply chain for MVH Group’s product range from Asia, in particular, Thailand and we are all devastated at his loss.”

Harrison grew up on a family farm in Cheshire, and became Managing Director of the family run business Harrisons (Poultry) Limited. Under his leadership, Harrisons Poultry went from strength to strength, becoming a fully integrated sole supplier of poussin to all UK major retailers and many European supermarkets throughout the 1980s and 1990s, supplying 90% of the UK poussin market and driving rapid development into Europe. In 1988, his efforts were recognised with the prestigious Poultry Industry Marketing Award.

In 2004, he set up Deemak International, and as Managing Director, managed the procurement and supply chain for the MVH Group’s product range from Asia, in particular, Thailand. Harrison had a keen interest and knowledge of breeders and broiler performance and expanded this knowledge from a British farming background to understand Thai broiler farming in depth from farm to fork.

Over subsequent years Harrison worked closely with many independent Thai broiler companies, building further processing cooking plants and in 2006 the Deemak International office in Thailand was opened.

O’Donnell said Chris Harrison would be fondly remembered and sorely missed by all his friends and colleagues at Meadowvale Foods and Deemak International together with the wider business community and poultry industry in Thailand and the UK. “Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this tragic time,” he said.  

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