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February 19, 2008

UK: Duchy cools talk of cutbacks

Duchy Originals, the UK food firm founded by the Prince of Wales, has played down reports that it is planning wide-ranging cuts to its product portfolio.

Duchy Originals, the UK food firm founded by the Prince of Wales, has played down reports that it is planning wide-ranging cuts to its product portfolio.


Reports in the UK suggested that Duchy was ready to slash the number of products sold under the brand.


However, the company told just-food that, while it is reviewing its business, claims of significant cuts to the business were “not true at all”.


“This is nothing radical,” a Duchy spokesperson said. “We are looking at our range and where we do see SKUs under-performing we will take them out – but that’s no different to any other business.”


Nevertheless, Duchy CEO Andrew Baker has decided to pass responsibility for selling the company’s products to its suppliers, although it will still handle the sales of its bakery and sweet desserts products.


“By passing responsibility for sales and retail promotion to our producers we can capitalise on their category expertise and maximise our operational capabilities,” Baker said. “The shorter lines of communication between producer and customer will mean that we can respond faster and more effectively to our customers’ requirements.”


The move comes three weeks after just-food reported that Duchy and UK meat processor Cranswick had decided to end the licence agreement between the two companies.


Meanwhile, Duchy has also set up a new-look management team, which includes marketing director Richard Hogg moving to a role as operations director.


Elsewhere, John Luck joins Duchy as commercial director from Time Out magazine, while Robert McKinnon, senior partner at Marakon Associates, becomes group development director.

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