Industry heavyweight joins Macphie as Operations Director

Left to Right: Donald MacDonald (Operations Director) and Ed Widdowson (Site Director)

A MILESTONE director appointment at one of the UK’s most prominent ingredients manufacturers is helping usher in a new era for the family business.  

Macphie Ltd has appointed Donald MacDonald to the role of Operations Director, overseeing the development of its two manufacturing facilities – Glenbervie near Stonehaven and Tannochside in North Lanarkshire.  

With Donald taking on oversight of operations, former Site Director, Ed Widdowson, has moved into the role of Strategy & Sustainability Director, and will look to aggressively pursue Macphie’s sustainability goals. 

Andy Stapley, Macphie CEO, says the appointment and subsequent changes are crucial for the future success of the business: “We’re at a generational crossroads. The business has come through a strong period of growth despite the recent economic challenges and the latest appointments will be instrumental in driving our business forward.

“We have signed off a huge investment commitment to overhaul elements of our sites at Glenbervie and Tannochside to boost production and jobs, while also improving upon our sustainability credentials.  

“It’s also important to invest in talented individuals who will bring fresh ideas and energy to the business and help us to thrive in the market.” 

The move comes at a pivotal moment for the £70m+ business, and Donald will be leading a programme of works to expand and improve production across both Scottish sites.  

Originally from Argyll but now living in Glasgow, the father-of-four brings more than 20 years of experience leading operations, supply chain and engineering roles within the food industry.  

With a background in chemical engineering, Donald has held senior roles at Rio Tinto and Bakkavor. Prior to his move to Macphie he spent four years as Operations Director at Scottish Salmon Company.   

He said: “It’s been fascinating learning all about Macphie’s large portfolio of products. The global potential is enormous. 

“This is a high-growth, high-ambition company. In many ways it feels like a 50-year-old startup, such is the energy and the appetite for positive change.  

“In the shorter term we have major investment programmes underway, and I’m getting heavily involved as we expand our manufacturing capacity in Scotland.  

“One thing I’ve already come to realise is there’s an incredibly strong team of people at Macphie, which has been supplemented in recent years with senior leaders from a range of different backgrounds. I’m delighted to be able to play my part.”  

Macphie, which has held B Corp certification since 2015, aims to be carbon neutral by 2035 and Ed will be instrumental in laying the groundwork to achieve this target over the next decade.  

Recently, the firm implemented sustainability incentives including the installation of solar panels at the Tannochside site, and upgraded to high-efficiency boilers across facilities, which is expected to reduce energy usage by 20-25%. 

As a member of the fourth generation of the Macphie family to run the business, Ed will help ensure that the family-owned company retains its heritage while continuing to innovate under his strategic direction.  

Ed said: “Donald’s appointment enables me to take on a much more overarching role to set the longer-term direction of the business.  

“We’re a truly unique business with headquarters in a rural setting like no other, meaning the people we work with are fundamental to everything we do. Its why so many have stayed with us for decades and they will remain a vital part of our success moving forward. 

“Reward and recognition are critical to our core values. We must continue to attract the best talent, and a key part of that is ensuring our facilities are at the top of the game, which will enable us to continue high-performance, high-quality manufacturing. 

“Our outlook is really positive and through those investments in people and our sites we are positioning ourselves for the next 50 years of success.” 

Originally founded in 1928 in Glasgow, the company later relocated to Glenbervie, near Stonehaven, in 1973, it has since grown to have 250 employees with revenues of over £70m.  

The game-changing move to Glenbervie in the seventies came alongside forward-thinking sustainability initiatives by Macphie. In 1974, Macphie began treating the effluent at the Glenbervie site to be used in a sustainable way, which marked the start of an impressive green journey for the food firm – now the site features its very own wind turbines to power the factory sustainably.  

Sustainability is a key element of the fourth-generation family firm’s philosophy: it was among Scotland’s first businesses to achieve B Corp status in 2015, having successfully demonstrated an unwavering high standard of social and environmental performance. 

Macphie Ltd is now an internationally renowned ingredients manufacturer, producing a wide range of products across its core categories of sauce, bakery and ice cream inclusions, as well as offering plant-based and gluten-free options. 

Macphie’s vision is to be the go-to partner for food brands around the world, turning ideas and creativity into practical solutions. Its passion for making life easier for chefs and bakers is reflected in its “simply clever” strapline. 

To find out more about Macphie, please visit: 

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