Ocado: latest developments

Rachel Sibson
Retail Analyst
@RetailAnalysis

Date : 27 August 2020

Ocado has increased its stake in the UK vertical farm business, Jones Food Company, according to a report from The Telegraph.

Meanwhile, Ocado’s CFO, Duncan Tatton-Brown is set to step down after eight years in the role.   

Vertical farm investment 

According to the report, Ocado has increased its share in Jones Food Company, which currently operates a vertical farm in Scunthorpe, to 70%. This follows news that it completed the acquisition of a 58% share last year. The warehouse in Scunthorpe is capable of producing 420 tonnes of crops every year.

The investment is part of Ocado’s strategy to improve its fresh food offering. The density of vertical farms enables them to be placed in close proximity to customers. Ocado plans to co-locate vertical farms within or next to its Customer Fulfilment Centres (CFCs), allowing produce to be harvested hours before packing.

Ocado CFO to step down

Ocado has also announced its CFO Duncan Tatton-Brown will step down from the role in November 2020 due to family circumstances. He will continue as a non-executive director of three Ocado subsidiaries – Ocado Retail, Jones Food Company, and Karakuri Ltd.

Tatton-Brown will be succeeded by the current CFO of Rolls-Royce Holdings, Stephen Daintith. He previously held roles at Daily Mail and General Trust, and News International. A start date is yet to be confirmed.

Daintith commented on his appointment: “I am delighted to be joining Ocado Group at such an exciting time. Ocado has become established as the partner of choice for the world's leading grocery retailers, offering a scalable and sustainably profitable solution that provides their customers with the best online delivery experience. I look forward to playing my part in ensuring the continued success of the group in the years ahead."

For more information on Ocado, read our Ocado Strategic Outlook