Duchy Originals: in multi-million GBP deal with Waitrose

London / UK. (div) The organic food company Duchy Originals, founded by the Prince of Wales in 1990, has announced new backing from Waitrose after the recession hit its sales. The biscuits-to-beer brand plans to grow from around 200 products to 500 through a new licensing and distribution deal with the upmarket retailer, owned by the John Lewis Partnership.

Duchy donates its profits to charity rather than reinvesting in the business. It said that this was the reason it had not built up reserves to enable it to expand. Its sales have also been hit as cash-strapped shoppers look for cheaper alternatives. In the year to March 2008, the most recent for which figures are available, pre-tax profits fell by 70 percent to 152’000 GBP. The amount it donates to charity through the Prince´s Charities Foundation could fall further.

Waitrose, which said the deal was «a match made in heaven», will pay a royalty to Duchy on all its sales. In return for this, it will have the exclusive right to manufacture, distribute and sell Duchy Originals products in the UK. It will also sell the products wholesale. Both companies said that they were confident the increased investment in Duchy will achieve sufficient sales growth over the next decade to «generate a substantial increase in the royalties going to charity».

Andrew Baker, chief executive of Duchy Originals, which was set up by Prince Charles in 1990, said: «This new partnership will take our pioneering company to the next level, accelerating the growth of the brand and amplifying its voice as a champion of sustainably grown and produced food from the United Kingdom».

Info: «Charities to benefit as Duchy Originals joins Forces with Waitrose».

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