Posted in News
It is with deep regret that we announce the death of our Life President, Sir David Samworth, aged 87.
Sir David Samworth CBE DL helped shape the modern food industry over a long and successful business career and also gave distinguished service in many other roles.
Mark Samworth, current Chairman of Samworth Brothers (Holdings) Ltd (and Sir David’s son) commenting on this news said;
“This is a significant moment for our business. Without Sir David, supported by his late brother John, there would be no Samworth Brothers. It was the vision, drive and values of the two brothers that laid down the strong foundations of our business and which drove such outstanding success. Whether in his early days growing the original Samworth family business or later building Samworth Brothers, a strong set of values always permeated David’s business life. He placed great importance on people as the cornerstone of any successful organisation and always sought to create a working environment that reflected this ethos. He also believed quality had to be at the heart of any business, whether that was quality of facilities, the product, customer service or our relationship with suppliers. He was enormously proud of the business and the achievements of everyone in Samworth Brothers.”
Sir David stepped down as Samworth Brothers Group Chief Executive in 1999 and relinquished his role as Chairman in 2005, becoming a Life President of the business. The group’s turnover had grown from £1 million in 1977 to £200 million in 1999. (The group is now a £1.4 billion turnover business.)
Sir David also played an active role in the wider food sector through his career. He served as Chairman of the Meat and Livestock Commission from 1980-84, receiving a CBE for his work, and was a council member of Food of Britain. He was also a Non-Executive and later Executive Director of Imperial Group from 1982 to 1984 and a Non-Executive Director of Thorntons Ltd from 1991 to 1993.
Beyond the business world David and his wife Rosemary set up the Samworth Foundation in 1978 in a desire to give back to their local community and to support other international causes, particularly in Africa.
Education was always a particular interest for Sir David and the Samworth Foundation has supported the establishment and development of three Academies in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire as well as other international education projects.
Sir David also served on the Trent Regional Health Authority and as Deputy Lieutenant and High Sheriff of Leicestershire. He was knighted in 2009 for his services to charity. His values were always underpinned by his strong Christian faith, and Sir David had a long association with Leicester Cathedral – he served as the President of the Honorary Canons and supported the Cathedral in its fundraising to make Leicester the final resting place of King Richard III.
Outside of business and charitable commitments, Sir David was a champion of farming and the countryside. He married Rosemary in 1969 and has four children, three daughters and a son, and seven grandchildren. Details of the thanksgiving service will be circulated in due course.
17th August 2022