Industry titans join Macphie to guide growth

Food firm secures major appointments including former Aunt Bessie’s trailblazer

Industry news
Published: 20/02/2023

Leading figures from the world of food and business have joined one of the UK’s biggest ingredients firms to help it achieve the next stage of its growth plans.

Norman Soutar and Jane Stewart join the team at Macphie Ltd as Non-Executive Directors, bringing with them a wealth of leadership and industry expertise.

With more than 29 years’ experience in the food sector, Soutar’s latest venture saw him managing the William Jackson Food Group as Chief Executive where he more than tripled the company’s revenue and oversaw a number of business disposals and acquisitions.

As part of his 14 years at the food group, he helped family-favourite brand Aunt Bessie’s build its brand reputation for helping make complicated recipes and techniques more user-friendly.

Soutar, said: “To be part of the evolution and growth of a food industry leader like Macphie is something that I am very much looking forward to.

“One of the firm’s core aims is to make life easier for chefs and bakers and this is something I can wholeheartedly get behind, having a passion for it myself.

“During my time at William Jackson Food Group, I worked with the Managing Directors and their leadership teams to help them create value over the long term, going that extra step beyond group strategy support.

“I hope that I can bring the knowledge and skills that I have gained throughout my 29 years in the industry to help Macphie on the next phase of its expansion plan.”

Having recently won a major new contract following its £4m refit of its Tannochside factory in Uddingston, the food firm has also made a significant investment in its sweet sauce range, with the launch of five new product lines, as well as receiving one of the highest accolades in the food and drink industry for 11 of its products.

Soutar added: “Macphie continues to grow from strength to strength. Being a great fan of B Corp, I am delighted to be working with a firm that is so passionate about sustainability and environmental performance, having been one of the first businesses in Scotland to achieve this status in 2015.

“With many more significant business developments in the pipeline, it’s great to be on this exciting journey with them.”

Jane Stewart has over 25 years’ experience in industry, private equity investment and corporate finance and brings extensive experience of helping innovative businesses to grow.

Jane holds a number of Non-Executive positions in high growth companies, including Edinburgh-based waste tech firm, Topolytics, and Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult. She has recently been recognised by Innovate UK as one of the UK’s leading ‘Women in Innovation’.

Stewart, said: “It’s an honour to be named as one of Macphie’s new Non-Exec Directors. The food firm has delivered impressive accomplishments to date, underpinned by a genuine commitment to sustainability and community impact.

“Macphie has a strong presence both locally and globally and I am excited to bring another perspective to help the team to capitalise on forthcoming opportunities and to deliver their major plans for the future.”

The Aberdeenshire firm has grown from its roots as a craft baker into a global ingredients manufacturer, supplying food brands, household name businesses and the wholesale sector with the products it develops at its Glenbervie factory.

Alastair Macphie, Chairman of Macphie, said: “Both Jane and Norman bring a suite of extensive business acumen and useful insights to their new roles at Macphie.

“Their invaluable experience and passion for the business will be a great benefit towards driving improved performance and growth across the board.”

Macphie is an internationally renowned ingredients manufacturer that was established in 1928 and now employs more than 250 people across its three sites.

Its vision is to be the go-to partner for food brands around the world, turning ideas and creativity into practical solutions. That and its “simply clever” strapline reflects its passion in making life easier for chefs and bakers.

Sustainability has been a key element to the fourth-generation family firm. It was among Scotland’s first businesses to achieve B Corp status in 2015, having successfully evidenced an unwaveringly high standard of social and environmental performance.

To find out more about Macphie, please visit:

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