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Shepherd Neame wins Coutts family business prize

UK family businesses were celebrated last night at the annual Coutts Prize for Family Business, with fifth-generation brewers Shepherd Neame winning the award for the £25 million plus category at the national finals.
Jonathan Neame (pictured), fifth-generation family chief executive, said: "We are delighted to win this highly prestigious award. This is testimony to the hard work and dedication by this and previous generations of employees who have all shared our passion for our products and commitment to the business."
National chairman of the evaluation committee Roger Pedder outlined some of the qualities that impressed the judges. "The sheer longevity and stewardship of the business by the family, which has enabled it to remain in family ownership for over 300 years" and "the family's well-organised family governance, which provides them with a clear family vision, different classes of shares, an annual family meeting and a next generation programme," he said.

Kent-based Shepherd Neame, which was founded in 1698, is the UK's oldest traditional brewer and has an annual turnover of £110 million. The company brews and retails its own beers under a range of brands, which are sold across the south east of England.

Juliette Johnson, head of UK family business at Coutts, said: "What really shines through is the strength of the family's values and how these have acted as the glue binding the family and business together for over 300 years. These strong values, coupled with their innovative approach and long term vision, should give them the best possible chance to weather this current economic downturn."
In an interview with in March, Neame explained that, despite the recession, the company had invested heavily in modernising its IT systems in order to become more efficient and cost effective. (Continue reading here)

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