Front Page and Centre in Frozen and Chilled Foods Magazine

November 13, 2017

Coldstore firm Rick Bestwick has recently appointed Colin Taylor as
CEO, to oversee its full operation and move the company forward.
Founder and co-owner Stuart Hancock has used collaboration as a
key strength in Rick Bestwick’s success to date. In this interview,
Colin Taylor and Stuart Hancock tell us about how their collaboration is the next logical step in the group’s narrative.

Stuart, Rick Bestwick has appointed Colin as CEO. Can you tell us what led you to the decision to create this post and why you think Colin is the right person to move Rick Bestwick forward?

After Kevin Hancock, our managing director, departed to new pastures we were left with a key role to fill. Someone that could oversee the company as a whole, and drive it forward. Colin is the right man for the job in every respect, having the experience and knowledge needed to develop our internal systems, processes and group roles to deliver the services most important to our customers.

Colin, what challenges are there in the industry and are these issues which can be addressed?

There are a number of challenges in the industry at present including the pressure for greater energy efficiency and sustainability, shorter lead times and ever wider ranges of products being frozen and up-tempered. These issues can certainly be addressed but only by staying ahead of the trend, by investing in the latest technology and increasing resource and organisational efficiency to beat market demands.

Stuart, what do you think the future of cold storage is?

Perhaps the most significant challenge is the recent signing of the Kigali agreement, which aims to reduce the emission of Hydrofluorocarbons. This could mean the closure of some older coldstores and increased demand on facilities like Rick Bestwick’s, which are all compliant with the new legislation. Rising to meet that demand will be an exciting challenge indeed.

Stuart, what is next for Rick Bestwick?

With Colin’s help we’re moving forward to bring our businesses closer together and grow as a unified group. It is our goal to provide everything needed from when a product leaves the production line to when it arrives at the end retailer. A trusted partner for a complete solution.

Colin, can you tell us about your background? How did you first get
started in the food business?

I started my career in a graduate position at Would Farm Foods on rotation between departments. Graduate positions are an excellent opportunity to gain a breadth of experience quickly and that’s exactly what I did, though some experiences I remember more fondly than others. I certainly don’t miss the days of chipping ice off the freezer belts that’s for sure!

Colin, what inspired you to take up your position of CEO at Rick Bestwick?

Rick Bestwick has flourished in the last few years; the desire to take that journey even further was a real driver for me. RB was formed by family-run businesses coming together to achieve more than they ever could by themselves. By continuing and improving that collaboration, once separate businesses can push forward with a combined strength and accomplish so much more.

Colin, you worked as a QA and then general manager at Frigoscandia. How does this experience prepare you for your new role?

Frigoscandia was a fantastic learning ground, providing technical and operational insight into running coldstores and factories. The quality of that experience is proven by the senior roles held by its former employees today. The lessons I learned from FS I still draw on today and will in the future.