Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 144,284 pages of information and 230,174 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Manufacturers and retailers of food, bread and provisions
1935 November: company founded by Willard Garfield Weston, initially as Food Investments Limited
1960 Name was changed to Associated British Foods.
1961 Acquired A. B. Hemmings Bakeries
1963 Acquired Fine Fare, a leading British supermarket chain.
1964 Acquired Twinings
1973 Acquired Cranfield Brothers, millers
1979 Following the death of the founder, control of the company was passed to his son Garry, while the North American operations went to his son Galen. While Garry maintained the company's prominence in the European foods market, ABF's growth has been eclipsed by the phenomenal performance of George Weston Ltd. in North America.
1986 Sold Fine Fare
1987 Established Weston Research Laboratories
1995 Purchased Kraft’s food ingredients business. Later renamed ACH Food Companies, Inc.
1997 ABF sold its retail operations in Northern Ireland and the Republic to Tesco.
2000 Opened the 100th Primark store. Sold its interests in Burton's Biscuits. Formed AB Enzymes.
2004 Acquired the Tone's spice business and Fleischman yeast business from Burns Philp and Billington's Sugar
2007 Acquired Patak's Indian food business. British Sugar opened the first UK bioethanol plant.
2008 ACH entered into a joint venture with Archer Daniels Midland called Stratas Foods LLC.
2011 The company operates in five sectors: Sugar, Agriculture, Retail, Grocery, Ingredients.
2015 They have 124,000 employees worldwide with 61,000 of these in the retail arm of Primark. Gross number employed in the UK in all divisions is 42,416. The company declare 42,416 employees in the UK but large part will be in retail for Primark chain - estimated at 37,000 for the 173 stores.