Commercial Director, A.F. Blakemore & Son Ltd
Caoire Blakemore joined her family’s business, A. F. Blakemore & Son Ltd, in a full time capacity 13 years ago. Now in its fourth generation, Blakemore’s is a food wholesale, retail and distributor employing circa 8,000 people with a turnover exceeding £1bn. Caoire is a Group Board Director with specific responsibilities for the Eat 17, Foodservice and Fine Foods divisions of the group, the latter of which was founded by Caoire in 2009.
A.F. Blakemore & Son Ltd celebrated its centenary last year and was also named the 44th largest privately-owned company in Britain in the Sunday Times HSBC Top Track 100. The company’s success has been built upon a distinct culture as defined in The Blakemore Way, a series of statements that outline the longstanding values of the Blakemore family and those that will continue to drive the company’s growth for the next century. Caoire regards herself as a custodian of the Blakemore Way and its purpose to grow a family business in ways that are profitable and sustainable for the benefit of staff, customers and the community. Caoire was a part of the group that brought these values together in 2007 following consultation across the wider colleague population at the time and is committed to preserving these values and keeping them alive for the next 100 years.
Caoire chairs the A.F. Blakemore Equality, Inclusion and Diversity Steering Group and attends numerous external events on this subject. Although still in its first year, the group has made huge steps forward in increasing diversity across the business and Caoire looks forward to developing this further. Having studied Geography and Environmental Studies at university, Caoire believes passionately in behaving responsibly towards the environment and was involved with establishing and continues to steer the company’s cross divisional Environmental Steering Group. Since 2012 the business has almost halved the CO2 emissions it produces through energy usage and is determined to continue these year-on-year reductions.
Caoire enjoys working in the fast-paced food and drink industry where innovation is constant and is committed to ensuring that the food-based business proposition that A.F. Blakemore provides keeps pace with the modern consumer. To achieve this Caoire not only works across the wider SPAR operation across the UK but also the SPAR International network. This allows her to identify and introduce new innovations from across the globe into the Blakemore business.