Business annual report: Geest

Geest, the UK’s leading food manufacturer, has capitalised on this lack of culinary skill to build a company that has grown and prospered in the challenging, fast-moving and innovative food market in which it operates.

This dedication can be seen throughout its annual report. The judges applauded the ‘excellent market review’ and the way the report ‘answers key questions in a simple way’. The market review is a particularly helpful guide to the complex world of food manufacturing and marketing.

Geest does not have its own brand of foods, instead providing products for many leading brands – the recent Pizza Express collaboration where Geest took on the production of the famously good pizzas is a good example of how the company works in partnership with its customers.

This partnership philosophy can be seen throughout the report.

‘Your Geest’, where the company describes its clients’ demands, is always followed by ‘Our Geest’ – an explanation of how the company meets those demands.

The analysis on ‘convenience’ is particularly revealing. The report goes into considerable detail on the changing dynamics of the prepared food market – smaller households, flexible working arrangements, ‘technological’ time and eating patterns have all had an impact on the Geest businesses, and the report explicitly shows how the company has responded to these dynamics.

The report is split in two – a starter and a main course, if you like – with the financials coming equipped with a user-friendly indexing system – a winner with the judges. They were particularly impressed with the directors’ report – all too often the reader of a report is left wondering what the directors did, but this was certainly not the case for Geest.

The company also takes time to explain its social responsibilities, an increasingly important feature of annual reports. The report details its policies on food safety, health and safety, environment, ethical trading and community involvement.

Geest’s mission is to become the best fresh prepared food and produce company wherever it operates. Its annual report demonstrates how it is achieving this.

Other shortlisted candidates:

  • Amersham
  • BG
  • British Land

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