The Rayner Food Group, based in Edmonton, London, has been acquired by its management.

The company manufactures condiments and sauces under its Burgess and own-label brands, a range of organic and non-organic honeys, chutneys and vinegars principally under the Martlet brand and chilled vegetarian foods under the Cauldron brand.

Most of the existing board are remaining with the business and participating in the MBO/MBI. However the current managing director, Geoff Kirby, is retiring and the chairman, Paul Gourmand, is leaving the group.

The new chief executive will be Michael Beard who has a long association with the food industry, having held several senior management positions, most recently with McCormick and Kerry Ingredients. Joining the team as chairman will be Nigel Garrow, who is currently CEO of the Braes Group.

"The Rayner Food Group has established an enviable position as a leading supplier to many major retail and foodservice organisations," commented Michael Beard. "I am looking forward to the business entering the next phase of sustained growth. The key to our future success will be listening to, and understanding, our customers' needs and providing them with innovation, value and quality."

Rayner Burgess is a leading supplier of condiments and sauces, both under the Burgess brand and customers' own label brands, in both retail and foodservice markets. The recent acquisition of Martlet Natural Foods has given the company a strong position in the healthy food sector with their ranges of organic honey, cider vinegar and condiment products.

Rayner manufactures the Crusha brand of milk shake syrups for foodservice and retail markets as well as PLJ lemon juice in retail packs and as a bulk ingredient for food processors.

The company also manufactures essences and flavours in retail packs for home cooking as well as supplying food manufacturers with individually designed flavours for a range of sweet and savoury applications.

Cauldron Foods, based in Portishead, is one of the UK's best known manufacturers of chilled vegetarian and organic convenience foods.

Originally known for its range of tofu products, Cauldron has extended its product range to include a variety of vegetarian sausages and burgers, vegetable patés, and other vegetable specialities.

"The company has been quick to understand the consumers' interest in organic foods and this has been a major contributor to the rapid growth in sales of Cauldron Foods' products over the past 12 months," added Beard.

"It is our intention to maintain the speed of new product development in this area and provide the consumer with an increasing variety of healthy and tasty vegetarian products."

Byline Stephen Blake, editor, Food Industry News