29 December 2017

Yeo Valley is a real place in the Somerset countryside. The company has been farming there since 1961 and makes 100% Yeoganic dairy with milk from its award-winning British Friesian cows and other local organic dairy farms.

Yeo Valley has grown from a smallholding with just 30 cows into the UK’s no.1 organic dairy brand, supported by a fantastic community of like-minded people.

Nestled in a beautiful part of the world with the kind of sleepy landscapes that inspire oil paintings, Holt Farm is home to Yeo Valley, one of the UK’s biggest and best known dairy products brands.

“From the moment you walk into their reception,” says John Barnett, “you know you’re dealing with a different type of client. In big letters on the wall behind their reception, you’re faced simply with one word: ‘Yeo’. The obvious pun is not only powerful from a branding perspective but it also gives you a great insight into their culture. It’s warm, it’s friendly, it’s personal, and it’s different.

“They’re not just one of our longest-standing clients; they’re also innovative and forward-thinking, so we were excited to have worked on some strategically important projects for them this year,” continues John, head of the Tax and Private Client team at Burges Salmon.

One of the projects that John refers to is the major reorganisation of Yeo Valley’s corporate structure. This project represents one of the most significant changes for Yeo Valley in recent years, with the Burges Salmon team providing them with advice across a range of legal areas including intellectual property, corporate, tax, private client, renewables, real estate, employment and incentivisation. “What makes it fascinating for me,” explains John, “is that it is a multi-faceted transaction.”

“The connections with Burges Salmon don’t end there,” continues Anita Calverley, HR Director of Yeo Valley Farms Production Ltd. “This year, the firm also took part in Yeo Valley’s first ever Legal Social Mobility Partnership Programme. When we were approached by the LSMP to participate in the programme it might have seemed impossible for Yeo Valley to do this without an in-house legal department to set the scene for the students. However, we knew we could jointly give the students a great experience by teaming up with Burges Salmon. That probably demonstrates how our relationship works with the firm: it’s business, but our collaboration goes beyond the norm.”

The Legal Social Mobility Partnership Programme offers bright Year 12 students work insight days in the legal sector. For this inaugural event, Yeo Valley and Burges Salmon hosted 14 students from Bristol state schools. For their visit to Yeo Valley, the students were treated to a tour of the manufacturing plant in Blagdon and were tasked with a business challenge to create and market an exciting new yogurt product. As part of their market research, they interviewed representatives from Yeo Valley’s commercial, marketing, and production teams, before finally presenting their ideas to a panel, which included Yeo Valley’s Managing Director Karl Tucker, HR Director Anita Calverley and Burges Salmon’s Jamie Cameron.

“The event was a great success and all the students really learned and benefited from it. The ideas and names of the teams’ products put a smile on your face – team Mooove Over (targeting gym-goers), Pasture Sell-by Date (targeting health-conscious dieters) and Yeo Yum (targeting parents who value nutritious, natural food for their toddlers), all wowed the panel with their pitches,” concludes Jamie Cameron.

Yeo Valley: 'Yeo'

At the end of the day, it’s really quite simple: we like doing business with great clients. And we certainly like doing business with Yeo Valley.

The Chemistry of Collaboration

Our annual review features a collection of case studies about the benefits of working as part of a team with our clients and our local community.
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