We had a specific template of the skills and knowledge, and experience we wanted, because foodservice is a different environment to retail, and a member buying group is a different organisation to other types of business because we have 20 independent-minded and entrepreneurial companies. The board was unanimous. Coral was outstanding. With her experience and qualifications, I think you would be hard-pressed to find a more suitable candidate.

The key thing for a chief executive is to be always thinking about what’s coming in a year’s time, what’s coming in three years’ time, what’s coming in five years’ time, and get businesses ready for that, and Coral’s got that vision.”

Chris will become chairman of Erudus, a source of allergy, nutritional and technical product data. His role will not be hands-on; it will be more strategic and will be about the direction of the business.

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Coral Rose as our new Chief Executive Officer.

Coral joined us on September 1st, replacing Chris Binge, who has held the CEO role since 2001.

Coral, who has 30 years of experience in the foodservice sector, joins us from Country Range Group, where she has held the position of Managing Director since 2013, having joined CRG in 2010 as the group’s marketing and project manager.

Previously, she ran her own consultancy, Foodservice Marketing Solutions and held senior marketing roles with Brakes and Premier Foods. 

“I have enjoyed my time as MD of CRG, and the members have been great to work with. I am leaving on good terms as I wanted a new challenge. I am delighted to join Fairway and help the members grow their businesses profitably. 

I understand the ethos of Fairway Foodservice, and I think I will be able to bring some different insights to the business and keep things progressing to be ready for changes which we will inevitably have to contend with our the next few years”

Our departing chief executive Chris Binge added: ‘“I have been looking to retire for about 18 months. Our internal candidate Steve Jeavons (purchasing director), decided not to take the CEO role as he is looking to retire in a few years himself, and so we went through a process of over 200 applicants.

Fairway Assured frozen vegetables are produced by D’Arta, a BRC-approved, specialist vegetable manufacturer in a state-of-the-art factory in Belgium. There are 13 products in the range from Peas, Sweetcorn and Carrot slices to Broccoli Florets, Green Beans and Battered Onion Rings.


The vegetables are ‘quick-frozen’, a technique created by the captain himself, Clarence Birdseye. Vegetables are 70%-80% water and begin to dehydrate and lose nutrients quickly after harvesting; quick-freezing locks in the goodness and prevents them from becoming soggy when thawed.

Some vegetables are blanched just before freezing, which kills any bad enzymes and bacteria. No chemicals are involved in this process.

Frozen is great for caterers with its longer shelf-life, less wastage, and they’re usually cheaper! They’re also versatile, and portions are easier to manage.


Food producers use a grading system to ensure the quality of their products. The Campden specifications look at defects, size and colour as well as flavour or texture for them to be certified.

The Fairway Assured range is Campden ‘A’ grade for 1kg bags and Campden ‘B’ grade for 2.5kg.

Top 10 frozen veg

“A significant product area within frozen for the group, with sales of approximately £1m annually, sausages were a natural choice to reintroduce under the Fairway Assured Own Label brand.

To ensure we agreed on the right partner for our OL sausages, we conducted a rigorous benchmarking exercise. This involved sampling products from suppliers including Tasty Bake, Penny Lane, Blakemans and Midland Bacon.  We scored results under key parameters such as quality, appearance, taste and texture. The Midland Bacon sausages scored consistently highly throughout this exercise to become our number one choice.

Terms have now been agreed with Midland Bacon, and will be applied on ALL frozen sales (manufacturers and own label) from 1st August.  Once our own label packaging has been technically confirmed, we expect Fairway Assured sausages to be available within 2 to 3 months. The range will consist of the highest volume products within this category, including pork 4s, 8s, and 6s, and pork and beef 4s and 8s.

Midland Bacon have ambitions to grow within the group and are keen to work closely with new members to support this”

Laura Schofield
Purchasing Manager (Frozen)


To coincide with the launch, Fairways Marketing Department will be creating assets for sales teams to help with the launch and promote the products traditionally and through digital marketing.

  • Social Media Graphic
  • Social Media Film
  • Product Images
  • Product Adverts
  • Product Information Guides

These assets will be available in late September.

We have seen numerous commodities reach unprecedented levels, but a number of these, such as vegetable oils and wheat, appear to have ‘peaked’.

The ‘weather’ particularly the recent heatwave/drought in the UK and EU is now having a larger impact on yield, supply and price. We are experiencing several crisis situations around the world.

Inflation is currently over 10% and set to go higher. Energy costs are now the focus for many businesses.

Global supply must become more stable before we see the end of the pricing pressure we are currently facing.


Sterling has weakened recently – currently approx. 1.16 vs Euro (-5% since March) and 1.16 vs US Dollar (-17% since January).



Last year, crops experienced poor harvests below the five-year average. It is predicted that this year’s wheat harvest ‘will remain tight’. UK harvest ‘good’ but yield yet to be confirmed. Flour prices are looking to be up to 40% higher than 12 months ago.

Sugar prices 

These are fixed in September and new pricing is approx.+45% on current levels. This price reflects higher import costs on cane sugars, an increased price offered to UK farmers to guarantee yields against significant prices to plant alternative crops and the massive leap in energy prices used to process beets into sugar.


The lack of milk has pushed pricing higher in the UK and EU and we have continued to see increases throughout the year across all products. Butter is at an ‘All Time High’ although recently we have seen indications that prices are ‘topping’. We expect to see some dairy products, especially imported products from the EU continue to increase over the coming months.

Vegetable Oils

Prices appear to have peaked in July with further reduction expected in 2023.

Tory McKee
Purchasing Manager (Ambient)

The Food Price Index, compiled by the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP), measures monthly changes in international food prices.

The FAO Food Price Index* (FFPI) averaged 138.0 points in August 2022, down 2.7 points (1.9 percent) from July, registering its fifth consecutive monthly decline. Despite the latest drop, the index remained 10.1 points (7.9 percent) above its value a year ago. All the five sub-indices of the FFPI fell moderately in August, with monthly percentage declines ranging from 1.4 percent for cereals to 3.3 percent for vegetable oils.

Kindly forward comments and suggestions to:  richard@fairwayfoodservice.com