Waitrose Managing Director Rob Collins opens venison facilities

On Friday 16th March, we were honoured to welcome Rob Collins, Managing Director of Waitrose, to our Stapleton site to officially open our bespoke venison facilities.
On Friday 16th March, we were honoured to welcome Rob Collins, Managing Director of Waitrose, to our Stapleton site to officially open our venison processing facilities. The facilities have been in operation since October last year, and their installation marks a historic moment for Dovecote Park, who have championed British venison and packaged venison for Waitrose for many years – to have the facilities opened by the MD of Waitrose truly encapsulated the importance of the event.

Rob took over as MD of Waitrose in 2016 - having succeeded the role from Mark Price – following a long career with the John Lewis Partnership, including leadership positions in E-Commerce and Marketing. He has visited our site on several occasions in the past, but this visit marked his first whilst in the role of Managing Director.

Mr. Collins arrived on site at 8am, and the day was started with coffee and a chance to meet many of the Senior Management team at Dovecote Park and around 25 of our Park Venison producers who were on site for a visit, and to whom Rob gave a brief speech. He was then taken on a tour of the facilities, starting with the venison lairage, and then through the bespoke venison abattoir. Rob was then taken through to see the boning hall, and finally the bespoke maturation chiller, capable of storing 128 venison carcases.

Whilst on site Rob also viewed some of the beef processing facilities including our bespoke, dry age chiller,  taking the time to speak to many of the factory staff, and taking great interest in learning about the process, as well as the ongoing improvements we are making to our facilities.
Rob then visited our New Product Development kitchen, where he was able to see the creation and testing ground for products which will one day be sold to Waitrose customers. Rob and the senior Dovecote Park team were treated to an outstanding lunch crafted by our Executive Development Chef Jonathan Murray with assistance from Junior Development Chef Chris Grant.

Robs visit was marked with a steel plaque (pictured above) on the wall of our venison lairage, which marks the date upon which he officially opened the facility. We were delighted to have Rob visit our facilities once again and have had great feedback regarding how impressed he was with the site and the work we are doing in the venison arena.

We would like to thank all the team here at Dovecote Park for ensuring his visit went smoothly and that he was able to witness first-hand the care and consistency we uphold throughout the process of producing product for the Waitrose shelf.