Special Recognition Award

The food and drink community celebrated success on 19 September 2019 as the winners of the Food and Drink Federation Awards were announced.

John Lea – Chairman of Morning Foods and Oakes Millers

John Lea is the Chairman of Morning Foods and Oakes Millers. The Group traces its history back to 1675 when it was founded by William Lea in Cheshire. These two companies now represent one of the largest independent milling, food and feed production companies in the UK with factories in England, Scotland and Wales.

After serving with Canadian Pacific and training as a Chartered Accountant, John joined the group in 1972, a time when the milling industry was still struggling to recover from the end of rationing and the decades of lost investment. Through a focus on technological advance, product innovation, and continuous reinvestment, John has evolved the Group to be at the forefront of these and other food manufacturing disciplines.

John has served as President of both the British and European Oat Associations, the Association of Cereal Food Manufacturers, and as a Council member of the European Breakfast Cereal Association. He was High Sheriff of Cheshire in 2011/12, and is a Deputy Lieutenant of the County.

John continues to Chair the Companies today and is joined by the next generation, with two sons and his Nephew now in the business.

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