Lincolnshire egg producer crowned Midlands Family Business of 2015 | Wilson Organisation


November 13, 2015

Lincolnshire egg producer crowned Midlands Family Business of 2015

Lincolnshire egg producer crowned Midlands Family Business of 2015

Lincolnshire egg producer and packer LJ Fairburn & Son has been awarded the highest accolade for family firms in the region by being crowned The Midlands Family Business of the Year.

Alford-based Fairburn was announced winner of the headline Award last night (Thursday 12th November 2015) at the prestigious black tie Midlands Family Business Awards Ceremony and Dinner at Leicester’s Athena in front of 300 guests from the Awards 44 finalists, independent judges and sponsors, including their organiser and headline sponsor, The Wilson Organisation.

Today led by the third generation of the Fairburn family, the business started producing eggs in Alford, Lincolnshire in 1951. It has significantly expanded and transformed to become one of the largest independent egg producers and packers in the UK, delivering more than 13 million British lion approved eggs every week, with over 180 employees and an annual turnover in excess of £50 million.

Now in their sixth year, the Awards are run by third generation family business The Wilson Organisation, and are the Midlands’ only independent, not-for-profit initiative to recognise and celebrate the work, achievements, innovation, operations, growth and performance of family businesses.

Judging the headline category this year were Mark Samworth of Samworth Brothers, Annabel Prow of Wilsons, Chris Romans of PwC and Kurt Jacobs of Insider, who said: “Fairburn is one of Lincolnshire’s largest employers, and has been operating for more than 60 years. It demonstrates all that is great about family businesses – ambition, growth, drive and inspiration. Alongside, the family and the business has maintained the values at the heart of a family firm, operating with loyalty and integrity at every level. They are highly worthy winners of the Midlands Family Business of the Year title, in what was a hotly contested final with incredible finalists once again this year.”

Highly Commended by the judges in the category were Children 1st Day Nurseries of Nottingham, and Derbyshire’s Glossop Cartons. Finalists were A1 Flue Systems, Bower Electricals and Roadlink International.

Winner of the category for family businesses with annual turnover of less than £5 million – the Best Small Family Business – was Derbyshire’s Rock Fall UK, manufacturer of safety footwear widely used worldwide on offshore oil rigs, in cold stores, and the utility and electronics industries. Highly Commended were Churchfields Farmhouse Ice Cream of Droitwich, Worcestershire, and pie manufacturer Brockleby’s of Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

Sponsors of the Awards this year are Affinity Asset Finance Limited, Barclays, Bedrock, Family Business Futures, PCMS Group, PwC, RSA, Royal London, and Yu Energy.

The full line-up of Winners and Highly Commended in the ten categories for 2015 are:

  • Midlands Family Business of the Year (Sponsor: The Wilson Organisation):
    • Winner –  LJ Fairburn & Son (Alford, Lincolnshire)
    • Highly Commended       – Children 1st Day Nurseries (Nottingham)
    • Highly Commended       – Glossop Cartons (Glossop, Derbyshire)


  • Best Small Family Business
    • Winner – Rock Fall UK (Alfreton, Derbyshire)
    • Highly Commended – Brockleby’s (Melton Mowbray)
    • Highly Commended – Churchfields Farmhouse Ice Cream (Droitwich, Worcestershire)


  • International Development (Sponsor: Family Business Futures)
    • Winner – Crofts & Assinder (Birmingham)
    • Highly Commended       – A.R.T Foods (Shrewsbury, Shropshire)
    • Highly Commended       – R H Smith & Sons (Smiffys) (Gainsborough, Lincolnshire)


  • Retail Excellence (Sponsor: PCMS)
    • Winner – Rutland Cycling (Manton, Rutland)
    • Highly Commended – Broad Street DIY (Bromsgrove)
    • Highly Commended  – Carvers (Wolverhampton)


  • Environmental Sustainability (Sponsor: Affinity Asset Finance Limited)
    • Winner – Shredall       (Nottingham)
    • Highly Commended       – Corporate Solutions (Logistics) (Solihull)
    • Highly Commended       – Mereway Kitchens (Tyseley, Birmingham)


  • Employer of the Year (Sponsor: Royal London)
    • Winner – ISO Quality Services (Worcester)
    • Highly Commended  – Hogarths Hotel (Solihull)
    • Highly Commended   – Inside Out Group (Nottingham)


  • Fastest Growing Family Business (Sponsor: PwC)
    • Winner – Country Court Care (Werrington, Peterborough)
    • Highly Commended – Chasetown Civil Engineering (Burntwood, Staffordshire)
    • Highly Commended – LJ Fairburn & Son (Alford, Lincolnshire)


  • Manufacturing Excellence (Sponsor: Barclays)
    • Winner – Glossop Cartons (Glossop, Derbyshire)
    • Highly Commended – A1 Flue Systems (Nottingham)
    • Highly Commended – Penny Hydraulics (Clowne, Derbyshire)


  • Director of the Year (under 40) (Sponsor: RSA)
    • Winner – Ian  Fisher, Bonnington Plastics (Nottingham)
    • Highly Commended  – Phillip Kalli, Ideal Manufacturing (Finedon, Northamptonshire)
    • Highly Commended  – Sally Middlemiss, Rutland Cycling (Manton, Rutland)


  • Service Excellence (Sponsor: Yu Energy)
    • Winner – Chapmans  Electrical (Cradley Heath)
    • Highly Commended – Carvers (Wolverhampton)
    • Highly Commended – Midland Conference Services (Nottingham)


For the complete list of finalists and profiles of the judges for 2015, visit: Since their launch in 2010, the Awards have raised in the region of £20,000 for charities supporting young people and enterprise.

Photo shows: Lincolnshire egg producer and packer LJ Fairburn & Son is the Midlands Family Business of the Year. Receiving the trophy was the company’s Daniel Fairburn (centre), pictured with Chris Romans (PwC)(left), and Charlotte Perkins (The Wilson Organisation).

Over 100 years of innovation

  • 1914

    A successful launch! The Wilson Organisation was founded in Nottingham by Harold Wilson and became the first company in the East Midlands to offer a comprehensive insurance policy to the region’s fast-growing band of automobile drivers. Innovation from day one.

  • 1920s

    During the 1920’s, Wilsons developed its commercial insurance offering under the stewardship of Harold Wilson. Hopping forwards 80 years, Wilsons has developed a number of industry specialisms including a particular expertise in the food and drink sector. We created a unique insurance offering called “FoodProtect” and, through this service, have been able to deliver intelligence and cost-effective insurance programmes to a broad spread of leading food producers. The best thing since sliced bread? Maybe not, but we’re working on it.

  • 1949

    John Prow joined Harold Wilson in the business, marking the first generation of the Prow family’s involvement in The Wilson Organisation. Wilsons’ clients included leading Nottingham firm Boots The Chemist plus a number of operators in the burgeoning railway sector. With post-war regeneration beginning apace, the firm’s fledgling construction expertise quickly developed into one of our leading offerings and this continues through to the present day, with clients including national and regional builders, developers, contractors, sub-contractors and architects.

  • 1960s

    The 1960s were the start of a new era for The Wilson Organisation. Harold Wilson and John Prow died on the same day in 1963, Harold of illness and John in a car crash. This left John’s son, John J Prow, to run the growing business at the age of 27. Under his youthful direction, Wilsons benefited from a new energy and direction. John J Prow, who had joined in 1960 in a new business role, led the move into our current premises at Wilson House in 1964 and then launched the financial services division in the following year.

  • 1990s

    The late 1990s heralded the start of the third generation of the Prow family’s involvement in the business. Managing Director Charlotte Prow joined in 1998, to be followed by the firm’s Chief Executive, Annabel Prow, in 2002. Product and service innovation continued apace with the launch of a corporate finance specialism in 1997, which continues to deliver valuable cost-savings and insights to the region’s dealmakers.

  • 2000s

    Now century on from the launch of The Wilson Organisation in 1914, the company continues to encourage innovation and reward good ideas. Within the financial services team, 2008 marked the launch of “Flex”, a powerful employee benefit programme and the development of “WRAP”, an investment tool with a unique level of investor control and transparency. Meanwhile, our insurance advisers worked quickly to bring to market a specialist insurance policy for insolvency practitioners.

  • 2010s

    2010 saw the launch of the Midlands Family Business Awards by Wilsons, the UK’s only independent not-for-profit Awards for family businesses. Now in their fifth year, the Awards have raised almost £20,000 for charities supporting families and young people. In 2014 we are celebrating Wilsons’ centenary, a significant milestone in Wilsons’ history.

Registered Office:
Wilson House, 1/3 Waverley Street, Nottingham, NG7 4HG

Registered in England Number 862690 - Members of British Insurance Brokers Association

Harold Wilson (Insurances) Ltd. and Harold Wilson Financial Services Ltd. are authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority)