Noble Foods has appointed Richard Wood to head up its poultry business. Wood joined Noble Foods following a near 30-year career in the sector, with category experience across biscuits and cereals, to ready meals and alternative proteins.
“I knew of the recent ownership changes at Noble Foods and that’s one the main reasons that led me to join the company,” said Wood. “Noble Foods is synonymous with the poultry industry and their excellent reputation but being part of a family business, which has long-term goals, great ethics and purpose, was really key for me.”
The company encompasses milling, poultry, agriculture, and consumer foods business units. In his role as managing director of poultry, Wood’s aim is to sustainably and profitably grow the poultry business, which is relied upon by producers across the UK for its flexibility, and high level of care of birds.
“We have a reputation for our strong service and it’s crucial for me to uphold that. It’s this reputation and our keen focus on the highest standards of bird welfare, biosecurity, and food safety that I want producers to trust in to send us their birds at end of lay”.
It is clear that the current wave of Avian Influenza will impact operations for some time. “The impact is not only felt in the direct loss of birds but also in the volatility in planning depletions,” said Wood. “The longer-term trends of moving out of colony to barn and free-range have potentially been slowed by both the impact of AI and the cost of living crisis, but we have seen the trend of extending flocks to provide more egg,” he added.