James has a background in both senior management and business ownership in the meat processing industry. Ahead of his successful career, he attended Smithfield College in London and graduated as a Member of the Institute of Meat. Following this and during his time with the family business, M Newitt & Sons, he was instrumental in winning the Coutts bank award for Best Family Business in 2005, as well as a Grocer Gold Award for the Best Supplier Partnership with Musgrave Group. Now as Managing Director of Meatsnacks Group, James is driving growth through strategic planning, high-level retail account management and leadership of a 100+ team. A measure of his success is the fact that Meatsnacks Group supplies all of the UK’s grocery and convenience chains (resulting in nearly 80% market share in the category), plus exporting to 27 countries.
As the creator of The Jerky Group, Thomas conceived and began the business in April 2000 and later incorporated the company in August 2000. He has a background in accounting and information technology (European Operations Manager with Quantum ATL). Currently a director with the Meatsnacks Group responsible for IT, legal and contracts & sales reports. Thomas plays a pivotal role in problem solving and in the strategic vision and focus of the company.
Alan has been consulting and advising the business since 2012 through the transfer of manufacturing from South America to commissioning in GB. He is a shareholder and Executive Director with a broad background of 35 years industry expertise from hands-on practical experience to the boardroom of a £130 million Food, Farming and Finance Group as CEO. Having recently completed a three-year period of office as the Scottish Meat Industry’s President, he is also advising the business on site and asset suitability, grant availability, Food Standards Agency (FSA) issues, political contact to Cabinet Office level and Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) affecting raw material supply. Alan is also a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Butchers.
Richard has a BSc (Hons) in Rural Resource Management, with a minor in Business Management. He was a fishing guide on a Scottish Highland estate until 2003, though in 2001 incorporated Wild West Foods when he first saw the potential for beef jerky in the UK. Having previously also run a salmon smoke house, Richard has a broad range of operational skills, and this has proven vital to the group. He has a thorough understanding of the plant and machinery involved, is creative, has excellent attention to detail and is very customer focused. He enjoys market testing and currently services the group’s European activities. Richard also conceived both the Wild West and Bundu brands.
Having seen the potential of the company in a growing market category, Tina seized the opportunity to become the Financial Controller. Up until joining the team she worked in accountancy practices and gained the ACCA qualification. Tina started her own practice in 2002 and was introduced by one of its clients to James Newitt and the world of meat snacks, but is still waiting for a chocolate variety. In the meantime the Honey BBQ jerky keeps her sweet tooth satisfied.
Jennifer has over 15 years experience in marketing and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (MCIM) and a Chartered Marketer. She has worked in a number of industries including hospitality, tourism and the automotive sector. She is also a keen mountain biker and skier and enjoys eating jerky while out and about.
Gillian graduated with a B.A. hons degree in Business, Languages & IT and is fluent in French, Spanish and Portuguese. She also speaks Mandarin after studying one year at Beijing Capital University and subsequently living and working there for a further three years. Currently based in Hong Kong, she has been running her own food import and food import consulting service business, dealing with only high-end, British, food products since 2009. Gillian brings her knowledge of the Asian market and extensive network of contacts to help our brands reach the Asian shelves.
Having worked in retail management for many years, Natasha set up the European Coaching Foundation, training corporate and life coaches to an external accreditation. She then went on to help set up Roots Food Markets, responsible for managing various projects including the launch of The Muddy Duck Pub. Natasha’s role within the Meatsnacks Group is strategic account management, profitably growing the existing business and securing new, and maximising brand exposure through promotional, below and above the line activity. She is also responsible for sales analysis across all channels.
Bernhard is based in Auetal, and will be the Meatsnacks Group Country Director for Germany. The Meatsnacks Group will be using Bernhard’s expertise in the German market to gain listings in supermarkets and convenience stores throughout the country.
Bernhard has worked throughout his career with FMCG brands, some of them global players and some German based businesses.
Fascinated by both great food and numbers, Phil brings to our board 25 years of commercial and financial experience gained in food production, distribution, and catering. He has previously held the positions of Chief Financial Officer for Elior UK and Ireland, Corporate Finance Director for Brakes Group, and Finance Director for Princes Foods Manufacturing. A Chartered Accountant having qualified with PricewaterhouseCoopers, the breadth of his experience and insight into these sectors is a perfect mix for Meatsnacks Group.
Since 2002 he has worked predominantly within private equity backed businesses, helping them to achieve their strategic objectives. He has a constant focus on ongoing performance across the whole of our UK operations, and is also the steward of our future financial capability.
He lives in Cheshire and has two young boys who take up most of his time when not either working or eating biltong.
Andorra based Arnout Kok is new to the meat snacks business having a background in telecoms. Arnout is assisting Meatsnacks Group with its expansion into the European market, focusing on the BENELUX, French and Spanish markets. South African born Arnout initially approached Meatsnacks Group to help finance his NASCAR style racing in Europe and loved the products so much (especially Cruga Biltong!) that he’s ended up working with the company on its expansion program.