Kent's biggest brewer wins award - and goes national!

Jonathan Neame, chief executive of Shepherd Neame
Jonathan Neame, chief executive of Shepherd Neame

by Trevor Sturgess

Kent brewer and pub owner Shepherd Neame has been dubbed a “special family business” after winning a top regional award.

The 300-year old Faversham firm was named Best UK Family Business, Southern England and Wales region” in a category for enterprises with annual sales of more than £25m. The awards have been organised by Coutts, the Queen’s bank, for the past five years.

Sheps, now run by the fifth generation of Neames, goes through to the national finals in London in June.

Jonathan Neame, chief executive at Shepherd Neame, said the company was extremely pleased to win the award. “Shepherd Neame remains a proudly independent family company. It brings together the best of modern, efficient production and distribution methods with traditional standards which stem from our family values.”

Jonathan Hagger, regional chairman of the evaluation committee, said members had been impressed by the firm’s longevity and sustainability, strong corporate governance, well-organised family involvement, ability to combine traditional family values into an innovative and forward-looking business, approach to corporate social responsibility, and importance placed on looking after employees.

Juliette Johnson, head of UK Family Business at Coutts, added “We’re delighted to provide recognition to this special family business and showcase their achievements for the benefit of other family businesses. What really shines through is the strength of the family’s values and how these have acted as the glue binding the family and business together for over 300 years.

“These strong values, coupled with their innovative approach and long term planning, should give them the best possible chance to weather this current economic downturn.”

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