Broadland Wineries owner discusses strategy after Schaafsma leaves

Broadland Wineries owner Mark Lansley has cooled talk of turnover growing to £100 million in two years after the sudden departure of chief executive Paul Schaafsma.

The Norfolk-based supplier has grown revenue from £8 million to £60 million over the past decade and Schaafsma laid out plans to add another £40 million in two years by bolstering the portfolio with a range of big New World brands.

But he has left the business after just four months and Lansley – who stepped back to become chairman – will return to the chief executive role for the next year or so.

Lansley told DRN: “We will probably appoint a new chief executive in a year or two, and it is likely to be someone with a broad range of skill sets, who is able to add value to the Broadland business in its entirety.”

When asked about reaching £100 million in two years, he added: “In terms of turnover, probably not, but this does not mean to say we will not grow. We will forecast a more realistic figure to reflect the growth we achieved over the last 10 years from £8 million to £60 million.

“In terms of taking on big, New World wine brands, we already have several great New and Old World brands in our portfolio, although they are somewhat hidden gems like Waipapa Bay, Te Pa and El Tesoro. 

“We also have Minivino, our single serve brand, and Proudly Vegan, both of which are distributed through the national off-trade. Nevertheless, our strategy to develop the branded side of our business remains unchanged so, yes, we are open to adding additional big New World brands where they make good sense in our channel and customer matrices. We plan to add more brand development and management executives within the next few months.”

Schaafsma is setting up his own company along with his former colleagues at Accolade Wines, Ian Anderson and Amy White, who were set to join him at Broadland.

One plan he had was to introduce a range of wines in partnership with former England cricket captain Sir Ian Botham.

“Initiatives, such as the Botham range, which are based on personal relationship, are not ones we will pursue,” said Lansley. “All the other initiatives will be assessed and, if the partners involved are in agreement, we will proceed with them.”

When discussing the vast potential of Broadland Wineries, Schaafsma said the firm did not work with 60% of the UK trade and said it was perfectly placed to capitalise on future supply opportunities due to its UK bottling and technical expertise.

When asked about targeting buyers that are not yet working with Broadland, Lansley said: “We work with three of the top six multiple retailers in the UK, and one of the top 10 in the USA. We also work with many leading on-trade companies. 

“They find us useful because we provide award winning brands and a very reliable, high quality, fast private label and UK bottling service. 

“All are overseen by our highly experienced in-house master of wine, Dr Arabella Woodrow, and all at very competitive prices because of our proximity to Felixstowe and our efficient BRC Grade AA+ winery.”

Related articles: