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26.7.14 The man who controls chicken factories at the centre of a major hygiene inquiry is a ‘secretive’ self-made millionaire.

Ranjit Singh, who is known as ‘the chicken king’, has an estimated fortune of £190million.

His company, 2 Sisters Food Group, is under investigation by supermarket chains following claims that it is distributing contaminated chicken to be sold on the high street, it emerged yesterday.

It has been alleged that chickens that fell on to the floor at two factories were routinely put back into the food chain and that feathers, guts and offal were left to pile up for hours while production continued at a factory in Wales.

The company, which the 46-year-old built from ‘a small-scale frozen retail cutting operation’, now controls about 20 per cent of the UK poultry market.

Mr Singh is the fifth richest person in the Midlands and fifth richest Asian in the UK.
He is described by neighbours and colleagues as a ‘secretive man’ who shuns media attention.

He is a director of some 50 companies and subsidiaries, including Harry Ramsden’s fast food chain.

The father-of-five is also the chairman of Northern Foods, the company behind Goodfellas pizzas and Fox’s Biscuits, which 2 Sisters acquired in 2011 for nearly £350million.

In the past year, 2 Sisters – run by Mr Singh and his wife Baljinder Boparan – has made a £150million profit.

As well as reports of poor hygiene and contamination of products, employees have complained about poor working conditions and low wages.

Mr Singh and his wife live in a £1.2million house in the prosperous area of Little Aston near Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands.

It is known as an enclave of footballers and successful businessmen. Mr Singh’s six-bedroom iron-gated property is undergoing an eight-week renovation.

A neighbour said yesterday: ‘They are a very private family who have been living there for a very long time. We barely see him because he is always working.’

But in 2006, the family were thrust into the limelight when their son, Antonio Singh Boparan, 21 at the time, almost killed a toddler in a car crash while speeding at 72mph in a 30mph zone.
He was jailed for 21 months after leaving one-year-old Cerys Edwards paralysed and brain damaged.

The family run the Boparan Trust, set up to ‘help wipe out child poverty, work with social services and professionals on programmes for disabled youngsters, help vulnerable children and improve education in deprived communities.’

Mr Singh was yesterday unavailable for comment.

Regarding the allegations of poor hygiene and working conditions in its factories, a spokesman for 2 Sisters said: ‘The allegations about our processing sites are untrue, misleading and inaccurate.

'Both have British Retail Consortium “A” grade food standards certifications, based on a number of announced and unannounced visits.’


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