David Wood Baking Ltd

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by David Wood Baking Ltd's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from David Wood Baking Ltd is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Highlighting best practice
David Anthony Wood,
managing director
On the go, or as part of a meal, a delicious
smoked bacon and cheddar turnover
Founded in 2008, with the food industry in turmoil, David Wood
saw the opportunity with closures of food manufacturers to
keep their food production running and keep the skilled staff
in employment. Now, ten years later, with eight sites throughout
the UK, they have never looked back and, with the most recent
acquisition of a bakery in the former industrial area of South Wales,
are now employing over 1,200 people on full-time contracts.
Toexpand upon this, the following article has been written.
Where they are
In short, they are a fresh and frozen food manufacturer of meals and savoury pastry,
as well as breads and sweet bakery in both retail and food service outlets. Through
business acumen, relationship building and passion for growth, the company has
expanded its remit dramatically, both geographically and in terms of the products
it offers. As they reach an extremely exciting time in the business’s evolution, this
year celebrating their tenth birthday, they’re seeing consistent double-digit growth,
expanding turnover from £75 million in 2016 to £93 million in 2017, with a further
expectation of breaking through to £100 million before the end of 2018.
Building on success
There is a strong need in our food industry to keep track of developments and
to remain relevant for customer and consumer preferences. In the case of David
Wood Foods, they have focused strongly on increasing the production of fresh
chilled foods, on forging new relationships and on developing existing relationships
to expand production. By placing emphasis on pioneering innovation (in terms of
»Managing director: David
Anthony Wood
»Established in 2008
»Based in Leeds
»Services: Foodmanufacture
»No. of employees: 1,275
»Most of its factories are
turnaround sites
»Grocer Award winners for
high quality chilled products
»British Bakery Industry Award
David Wood Foods
both recipes and packaging) and with
a strong development team, they have
managed to stay a step ahead of the
With their latest acquisition of another
ailing site at Newport, investing heavily
in equipment and people in the
process, they have managed to create
opportunities with major retailers
to produce high quality bloomer
loaves through a highly efficient
manufacturing site.
As they celebrate their tenth
anniversary, it seemed like the right
time to make a change that reflected
the true nature of the production
capability of the business. This change
has come in the form of a company
rebrand to David Wood Foods,
including a new modern logo as well
as a new website and marketing
outlook. Investing in resources to
manage this change, in addition to
focusing on delivering market insight,
has been a significant shift in staying
aligned to customer needs and
Challenges – present and future
The categories in which they operate
are mature and fiercely competitive,
making market awareness critical.
Constant review is therefore necessary.
For instance, increases in the cost base
of raw materials, goods and services
are always the case, and managing any
change in this regard is a persisting
challenge for them. Efficiency, too,
is being culturally embraced within
the business, with a heavy emphasis
on working practices, production
planning, waste and continually
increased cost of labour.
They are not entirely sure if and to
what extent Brexit will affect labour
supply, but they are nevertheless
keeping abreast of the situation.
Generally speaking, though, uncertainty
is unwelcome. Thecompany do not
suffer badly from low staff retention,
largely because they ensure that their
employees feel at home and that they
conform to the ethical guidelines laid
out by Sedex, a company (of whom
they are a proud member) that helps
companies to identify, manage and
mitigate ethical risks in global supply
chains. The wellbeing of the staff
cannot go underappreciated.
There is also the focus on sustainability.
The government is pushing hard
for companies to improve their
environmental friendliness, and
this is particularly impactful on the
packaging side of their industry.
Comforting mac cheese
topped with pancetta
and croutons
Perfect slathered with
butter, a soft tiger
bloomer from Wales
We have a
new modern
logo, website
and marketing
Highlighting best practice
DavidWood Foods are embracing this
as an opportunity and moving quickly
to succeed in this area by making
their production more sustainable.
With all of their products, they are
actively working with their customers
by looking to innovate, simplifying
packaging and adopting more
sustainable practices. Their products
are also being made more ethically (an
example of which is palm oil reduction
– a substance highly deleterious to the
environment and certain communities).
This comes in tandem with being
conscious of rapidly changing customer
and consumer awareness and needs,
as well as governmental guidelines.
They are also acting positively from a
health perspective – an area in which
there is currently a huge consumer
trend. To this end, they are simplifying
recipes to reduce allergens and are
following guidelines on salt, fat
and sugar by reducing levels where
possible, while also maintaining the
focus on great-tasting products.
As an organisation they are very
focused on people, both looking after
internal employees and harnessing
future talent through apprenticeships.
They are also very conscious of the
community around them, completing
many activities for charities such as
an annual UK-wide cycling tour led
by David, and, in so doing, visiting all
of the production sites and covering
over 1,200 miles. This has raised
several thousand pounds over the last
They have also started to concentrate
more on innovation and development,
with a dedicated team of development
chefs and bakers working to create
recipes that are industry leading.
A focus has been put on this area
to ensure the business stays at the
forefront of innovation and can provide
what a variety of consumerswant.
In short, the future looks positive for
David Wood Foods, who are fixated
on quality, innovation and people,
allowing the company to move forward
successfully. This constant dynamism –
always looking for new opportunities
– is what drove their success in the
past and will equally feature in their
successes for thefuture.
We are fixated
on quality,
and people,
and with
dynamism are
always looking
Perfect with coffee or
hot chocolate, some
indulgent sweet treats


This article was sponsored by David Wood Baking Ltd. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister