Kerfoot News

Kerfoot’s next CEO is Young Gun of the Year

The Kerfoot Group

Yorkshire businesswoman, Jennifer Kerfoot, has triumphed at the prestigious Red Ribbon Awards where she was announced as the UK’s ‘Young Gun’ of 2012 in recognition of outstanding achievements in a family business.

Jennifer, who is Commercial Director of Packed Oils and Group People Director of independent vegetable oils company, The Kerfoot Group, was presented with the award at a ceremony in London last week. She was one of six shortlisted candidates that included nominees from Arora Hotels and Big Issue Foundation.

Anita Brightley-Hodges, Managing Director of Family Business Place, which hosted the awards, praised Jennifer’s unfailing enthusiasm and belief in her family business and said: “Her amazing ability to head up the UK and European food and technical oils division, combined with working with major clients, managing the needs of the 100 strong workforce and combining all of this with her zest for travel and living life to the full – she is recognised as a role model for the modern next generation of entrepreneur.”

The win comes hot on the heels of the announcement that Jennifer, 31, is to take over from her father, David, as The Kerfoot Group’s Chief Executive next April. The company, which is based in Northallerton, packs, processes and supplies more than 500 types of oil to the food, personal care and technical industries and has a turnover of £84million.

“I was thrilled – and surprised – to be announced as the Young Gun winner,” says Jennifer. “It’s a wonderful accolade, especially in such austere times, and I’m sure it’ll be a great boost as I move in to my new role. My personal and professional goals are unchanged: to continue to develop this company with the tremendous people we have here.”

There are 3 million family-run businesses in the UK, accounting for 35% of UK GDP*, and Jennifer believes that family businesses offer unique opportunities: “At The Kerfoot Group, we thrive off celebrating each other’s successes and I’m often surprised at how few businesses do this. Furthermore, our culture and structure enables us to be responsive and agile – if we see an opportunity, recognise a risk or want to challenge a process, we just get on and do it – there is no ‘ivory tower’ syndrome,” she explains.

Founded in 1980 by Jennifer’s parents, David and Elizabeth Kerfoot, The Kerfoot Group will continue as a family business after David steps down next April with Jennifer’s brother, Tom, also on the Board and a team of long-standing employees throughout the company’s bases in Northallerton, Goole in East Yorkshire and Moldova.

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