Investor cooks £300m recipe to transform UK food supply

Photo of Isara team

Isara, a new specialist investor in the food sector based in Leeds, has launched a £300m fund, focused on improving the efficiency, quality and sustainability of food supply systems across the UK, Ireland and Western Europe.

Isara will invest in food production and distribution businesses, helping to stabilise and transform the existing food ecosystem.

Led by Michael Rice, the investor’s team has expertise working with businesses and management teams across the food sector, including Eight Fifty Food Group, Orchard House Foods, Chaucer Foods, West Cornwall Pasty Co, Heron Foods and Seabrooks.

The fund is backed by the Sadel Group, a private family office which invests and operates in the Real Estate, Cold Storage and Energy sectors, predominantly in the UK & Western Europe.

The Isara team will execute its own separate acquisition and investment thesis, while also being able to leverage the high level of technical skill present in existing Sadel businesses to help implement value creation plans where relevant.

Michael Rice, partner at Isara, said: “We are on the cusp of a potential food crisis in the United Kingdom. We believe existing food production and supply chains have become inherently inefficient, and are under unsustainable levels of strain from a number of factors including the coronavirus crisis, increasing energy costs, food inflation and financial market volatility.

“At Isara, our fund will be used to champion increasing the efficiency and sustainability of food systems, seeking to address the challenges of long-term underinvestment, labour supply challenges, supply chain security and sustainability.

“Not only is this good business, but this will also create seismic benefits for the wider economy and, ultimately, the sector’s impact on the planet.”

Oliver McRae, investment director at Isara, added: “With the financial backing and industry expertise of Sadel Group, we are well-placed to take the long-term view that the sector sorely needs. 

“We are passionate about driving fundamental change in business through establishing positive and long-lasting partnerships with companies and their stakeholders. 

“We look forward to seeing this positive impact realised in the near-term and beyond.”

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