Click on any of the images to enlarge them 


  • 1990s (early) Hooks hatchery production is over 300,000 per week having expanded into East Anglia and the Midlands in the late 80s
  • 1990 Food Safety Act introduces the concept of “due diligence” in food safety
  • 1990 Humphrey Holdings & Stonegate Farmers set up a joint venture deal called Stonegate Winchester Ltd
  • 1990 Elanco Products Company is renamed Elanco Animal Health
  • 1990 Thames Valley Eggs acquire egg processor South Western Egg Products 
  • 1990 Faccenda Group purchase Hinton Poultry
  • 1990 Moorland Foods – new name and new look for Hillsdown Turkeys
  • 1990 Sun Valley Foods open the Abergavenny processing plant
  • 1990 SAPPA opens a new hatchery in Stanton, Suffolk
  • 1990 ISA opens a new hatchery in Eye, Cambridgeshire
  • 1990 Phytase feed enzymes begin to be used in feed formulations
  • 1990 Maurice Millard, West Country broiler pioneer dies
  • 1990 Poultry Person of the year: Mr Raymond Twiddle (right)
  • 1991 Ross introduce Oximeter for measurement of blood oxygen levels to improve heart and lung function
  • 1991 Peter Dean leads management buy out at Dalgety to form Deans Farm Eggs Ltd later to become Deans Foods Ltd
  • 1991 The British Poultry Meat Federation Ltd becomes The British Poultry Council (right), a voluntary trade association representing poultry meat producers. It has its roots in several poultry trade associations mostly established around the late 1950s. In 1991 the British Poultry Federation, which had been the umbrella organisation both the poultry meat and egg trade associations, was restructured to form the British Poultry Meat Federation (BPMF) and the British Egg Industry Council (BEIC). The BPMF comprised seven trade associations, mostly organised by species, related to poultry meat production. In 2001 the Federation decided to streamline its structure into a single body name the British Poultry Council. The separate trade associations were dissolved and became sector groups within the BPC.
  • 1991 Sun Valley wins Queens award for export achievement
  • 1991 Premier Nutrition is founded by Graham Yeo and Robert Rae
  • 1991 South Western Egg Products acquire Crystal Egg Products 
  • 1991 Anitox opens European Headquarters in Northampton
  • 1991 Cobb Breeding Company gains its second Queen’s Awards for Exports
  • 1991 Infectious Bronchitis Vaccine (Ma5) Launched
  • 1991 Triple Infectious Bronchitis, Newcastle, Gumboro inactivated Vaccine launched
  • 1991 Houghton Poultry Research Station closes and work moves to Compton
  • 1991 Harry Solomon of Hillsdown Holdings is knighted
  • 1991 Mike Ring Chief Executive of BEIC receives an OBE
  • 1991 John Knowles receives OBE
  • 1991 Ernest Castle receives OBE
  • 1991 Cliff Stuart Poultry Veterinarian dies
  • 1991 Cyril Thornber pioneer in layer breeding and management dies
  • 1991 Cobb celebrates 75 years with reception at Warwick Castle on the evening for the British Poultry Fair. The chief guest was Don Tyson chairman of Tyson Foods (right)
  • 1991 Novus International Inc is formed by Mitsui & Co. and Nippon Soda following acquisition of Monsanto’s MHA® and ALIMET® businesses
  • 1991 Poultry Person of the year: Mr Jim Wilson
  • 1992 Ian McPherson, poultry veterinarian dies
  • 1992 Unilever sells BOCM Silcock to merge with PAULS Agriculture to form BOCM PAULS LTD
  • 1992 First Marek’s Rispens vaccine licenced
  • 1992 European Poultry Fair becomes Pig & Poultry Fair
  • 1992 Europe’s first commercial power station run entirely on chicken droppings (right) begins supplying electricity to the national grid. Although the power station only supplies 0.02 per cent of the country’s electricity, it represents a breakthrough for alternative energy. The little plant, built by Fibropower, stands in the middle of a disused wartime airfield at Eye in Suffolk. Burning 125,000 tonnes of poultry litter supplied by local broiler farms, the power station will generate 12.5 megawatts of electricity, enough to supply the needs of 12,500 consumers.
    1992 Hilsdown Holdings acquire JP Wood
  • 1992 The Temperton Fellowship of Harper Adams is established, commissioning studies of poultry science and technology, and of poultry Industry business and marketing issues
  • 1992 First vaccine for Coccidiosis (Paracox) licenced
  • 1992 Queens Award for export achievement is awarded to Ross Poultry (for science-based exports)
  • 1992 First “hot” strain Gumboro Vaccine licenced (228E)
  • 1992 BSE in cattle peaks at 37,000 cases reported in this year
  • 1992 Thames Valley Eggs acquire Everest Egg Products 
  • 1992 Thames valley Eggs converts from a cooperative to a private ltd company 
  • 1992 Bernard Matthews receives a CBE for services to the Turkey Industry
  • 1992 ADAS becomes an Executive Agency of MAFF
  • 1992 Poultry Person of the year: Mr John Coles – engraving on the trophy changed to British Poultry Council and BOCM PAULS
  • 1993 Commercial Broilers 678 million, Commercial Layers 32 million, Turkeys 38 million, Broiler Breeders 6.6 million
  • 1993 Council Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91 on organic production of agricultural products comes into effect making organic food and farming subject to legal definition and control for the first time in the world
  • 1993 2 Sisters Food Group is formed. Ranjit Singh starts out with a cutting plant and packing frozen retail portions in West Bromwich
  • 1993 Grampian take over Llay Mill just outside Wrexham
  • 1993 Crown Chicken is formed following a management buy out from Hillsdown Holdings led by David Thacker with Nigel Ames, Matthew Ward and Reg Joyce. Crown Chicken is named after the pub next door to the processing factory
  • 1993 David Watts succeeds John Coles as Thames Valley MD. The company forms a joint venture with Sappa becoming Thames Valley (Anglia) 
  • 1993 Official opening of the Compton Institute for Animal Health Poultry research facility
  • 1993 Hamish Morrison & Sappa PLC combine to form a new company – Stanton Hatchery
  • 1993 Thames Valley Eggs & Sappa Eggs set up a joint company Thames Valley Eggs (Anglia) Ltd
  • 1993 Sunrise eggs acquires North Country Eggs of Morpeth
  • 1993 Grampian Chicken acquires Cymru Chicken from Hilsdown Holdings
  • 1993 British Free Range Egg Producers Association (BFREPA) is established (right)
  • 1993 PIC Conference (EPIC) is held at St John’s Hotel Solihull
  • 1993 First Inactivated Turkey Rhinotracheitis Vaccine licenced
  • 1993 Cobb acquires the Bawdeswell hatchery and breeder operation from Shaver in Norfolk to develop the site as their UK grandparent production facility (right)
  • 1993 Poultry Person of the year: Mr John Williams
  • 1994 Commercial Broilers 728 million, Commercial Layers 32 million, Turkeys 41 million, Broiler Breeders 6.3 million
  • 1994 Tyson acquires the remaining 50% of Cobb
  • 1994 Introduction of veterinary health planning in RSPCA welfare standards adopted by Freedom Food
  • 1994 Aled Griffiths receives an OBE for services to the Poultry Industry
  • 1994 Colin Spedding is knighted
  • 1994 Hugh Arnold – Breeding & research director at British United Turkeys receives an MBE
  • 1994 Cobb Breeding Company gains its 3rd Queen’s Awards for Exports
  • 1994 Grampian Country Food acquires Mayhew Chicken part of the Northern Food Group
  • 1994 Unigate sells Turners Turkeys to Bernard Matthews and Sun Valley
  • 1994 Thames Valley Eggs forms joint ventures with Lloyds Animal Feeds becoming Thames Valley (Northern) and Manor Eggs becoming Thames Valley (Manor) . The company also acquires Arnold Davies Ltd.
  • 1994 PIC moves back to Blackpool
  • 1994 Ross Poultry launch Lohmann Brown into UK Layer market
  • 1994 First Chicken Anaemia Agent (CAA) vaccine becomes available
  • 1994 RSPCA Freedom Foods scheme launched
  • 1994 First Salmonella enteritidis vaccine for Broiler Breeders launched in the UK
  • 1994 Poultry Person of the year: Mr Peter Humphrey
  • 1995 Commercial Broilers 740 million, Commercial Layers 32 million, Turkeys 43 million, Broiler Breeders 6.8 million
  • 1995 First vaccine against Infectious Bronchitis Variant (IB4/91) produced
  • 1995 Derek Kelly wins Rupert Chalmers Award for Outstanding Contribution and Commitment to the Turkey Industry
  • 1995 Mayfield Chicks commences work on a £4 million hatchery with a 1.5 million chick per week capacity
  • 1995 British Poultry Museum moves to Sacrewell Farm and Country Centre near Peterborough (right)
  • 1995 CEVA acquires Phylaxia a Hungarian biology company
  • 1995 Diemetridazole is banned throughout Europe
  • 1995 Hy-Line UK is founded
  • 1995 Pfizer acquires Smith Kline Beecham Animal Health
  • 1995 Pharmacia is formed through a merger with Pharmacia AB and The Upjohn Company
  • 1995 Poultry Person of the year: Mr Howard Hellig
  • 1996 Commercial Broilers 775 million, Commercial Layers 34 million, Turkeys 42 million, Broiler Breeders 6.8 million
  • 1996 UK Ban on meat and bone meal (MBM) in animal feeds is implemented
  • 1996 Grampian buys Sovereign Chicken and Favor Parker and becomes largest chicken producer in the UK
  • 1996 50th Anniversary of WPSA (UK) Branch
  • 1996 MAFF indicates 650 million broilers slaughtered at average liveweight of 2.15Kg, killing at 44 days with average mortality of 7% and FCR of 1.90
  • 1996 Average price of broiler feed is about £200 per tonne
  • 1996 Poultry Person of the year: Mr Peter Kemp
  • 1997 Commercial Broilers 802 million, Commercial Layers 34 million, Turkeys 40 million, Broiler Breeders 7.5 million
  • 1997 Ross Poultry introduce the Ross 508
  • 1997 JF McKenna becomes a supplier for Chore-Time in the UK
  • 1997 Mayfield opens their new £4million plus hatchery at Ewood Bridge Rossendale Lancashire
  • 1997 Marks and Spencer ends sale of cage shell eggs
  • 1997 Deans Foods Ltd purchase Dell Foods & HD Hardie, egg processing companies. Deans Farm becomes a subsidiary of Deans Food Ltd
  • 1997 Jeff Vergerson sells 50% of Countryside Products to Thames Valley Eggs Ltd forming a new joint venture company – Thames Valley Countryside Ltd based in Dereham Norfolk
  • 1997 EU recognition of animals as sentient beings
  • 1997 Asiatic H5N1 avian influenza pandemic virus appears in China
  • 1997 Avoparcin is banned across Europe in April as an antibiotic growth promoter in animal feeds
  • 1997 Hubbard introduce the Hubbard JA57 breed to the UK market (right)
  • 1997 Sunrise Eggs venture into Free Range
  • 1997 ADAS “privatised” in management buy out
  • 1997 Newcastle disease confirmed in 4 broiler flocks and 7 turkey rearing flocks between January and April
  • 1997 Rhone Poulenc & Merck (Rhone Merieux & Merck Agvet) are joined together in a 50-50 company – named Merial. Within the two animal health companies are poultry genetic companies that are joined to form Hubbard ISA. (Hubbard, ISA layers & broilers, Babcock layers & Shaver layers & broilers)
  • 1997 Salmonella enteritidis vaccine is used for the 1st time in commercial egg layers
  • 1997 Ross acquires Lohmann Indian River®
  • 1997 Poultry Person of the year: Mr Frank Jordan
  • 1998 Commercial Broilers 824 million, Commercial Layers 31 million, Turkeys 35 million, Broiler Breeders 7.2 million
  • 1998 BOCM PAULS LTD Management buyout from Elementis PLC is backed by Electra Fleming
  • 1998 Hillsdown announces the intention to sell all its poultry interests
  • 1998 Grampian Country Food Group conclude negotiations for the purchase of the whole share capital of Marshall Food Group Ltd
  • 1998 Derek Kelly receives an MBE for “Services to the Traditional Poultry Industry”
  • 1998 Fred Duncan receives CBE for services to the Poultry Industry
  • 1998 Poultry Advisers Association (East Anglia) Gala dinner special guest – Don Tyson (right)
  • 1998 UFAS Feed Assurance Scheme is Launched
  • 1998 Griffiths family takes ownership and control of Oaklands Farm Eggs Ltd
  • 1998 Following the salmonella scare of 1989, the BEIC’s response to reassure the British public and to effectively relaunch eggs, is the “Lion scheme” – The British Lion Code of Practice is introduced requiring compulsory vaccination against Salmonella for the first time, eventually leading to the rehabilitation of eggs in the public eye
  • 1998 Thames Valley Eggs closes Thames Valley (Anglia) and Thames Valley (Manor) 
  • 1998 2 Sisters Food Products Ltd purchase Penwood Poultry Ltd Norfolk from the receivers
  • 1998 PIC conference (EPIC) is held at Stakis Hotel. Brighton
  • 1998 Poultry Person of the year: Mr Robin Faccenda (right)
  • 1999 Commercial Broilers 803 million, Commercial Layers 30 million, Turkeys 29 million, Broiler Breeders 7.0 million
  • 1999 Grampian acquires Hamish Morrisons
  • 1999 Ceva Sante Animal established following management buy out
  • 1999 Anitox commence Termin-8® manufacture in UK
  • 1999 Hillsdown is bought by private equity company, Hicks Muse Tate & Furst, who continue with the policy of poultry company disposal
  • 1999 Ross acquires Arbor Acres and Nicholas Turkeys
  • 1999 Marks and Spencer ends use of cage egg ingredients
  • 1999 The Aviagen Group Limited holding company is created
  • 1999 New strain of Infectious Bronchitis (Italian 02) identified
  • 1999 Food Standards Agency is established (right)
  • 1999 Lion Code launches £4 million television advertising for Lion Eggs
  • 1999 Voluntary cessation of use of Antibiotic Growth Promoters is adhered to by 80% of the UK Broiler Sector
  • 1999 Griffiths family starts producing liquid egg for Framptons
  • 1999 SPHEREON, flexible freeze-drying technology for vaccines is developed and introduced by Intervet
  • 1999 PIC Conference (EPIC) moves back to Hilton Hotel Blackpool
  • 1999 Intervet takes over Hoechst Roussel Vet
  • 1999 Tan Hai Meng Research Director of Kemin Agri-Foods isolates a strain of bacteria known as bacillus subtillis from the intestines of chickens. This discovery leads to the development of Kemin’s first probiotic product, CloSTAT®
  • 1990s During the 90’s the Hook hatchery at Cote expanded and reached 2 million chicks per week becoming the largest independent hatchery in Europe
  • 1999 Poultry Person of the year: Mr Andrew Parker (right)
Raymond Twiddle
British Poultry Council Logo
Cobb – 75th Anniversary Celebration Banquet, Warwick Castle
Cobb – 75th Anniversary Celebration Banquet, seating plan

Cobb great grandparent farm and hatchery at Bawdeswell in Norfolk

Poultry Museum – Jim Wilson ISA, Alan Spedding Royal Agricultural Society and Dr David Charles ADAS


Presentation of a turkey to the Prime Minister is a tradition put on by the BTF for many years. Here the recipient is John Major from Bernard Matthews attended by their wives Joyce and Norma with Peter Bradnock, chief executive BPF


Grace & Douglas Morrison, Jim Hunnable & Janey Barnard


Jim Hunnable & Peter Hambly

Merial Logo
Hubbard JA57

PAAEA Dinner – Peter Haslam, Douglas Morrison, David Thacker, Michael Foulger, Jim Hunnable, Peter Bradnock, David Newton, Allan Meldrum, David Padley, John Baron, Mike Bowden, Janey Barnard & Don Tyson.


Robin Faccenda

Food Standards Agency Logo
Andrew Parker

What next? The rest is history!

If you have any memories of key moments we have missed, or any errors in the details we have included, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. With your help we can get get this section as clear, concise and accurate as possible.