GT – What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

Continually being able to innovate and lead within the meat snacks category. Having just opened a new facility for the product of salmon jerky I am excited about bringing this product to market in 2017.

James Newitt, Managing Director, Meatsnacks Group Ltd

GT – Who’s inspired you most in your career?

I began my career in the meat industry and I started at Angle Beef Processors (ABP) on their graduate scheme. The CEO at the time was Richard Cracknell and his leadership style inspired me. Also, my Father, he was a true entrepreneur, a butcher and a ‘chip off the old block comes to mind…’

GT – If you were an item in a supermarket, what would you be?

A packet of Wild West Beef Jerky of course… packed with protein and with long shelf life and the perfect hunger suppressant!

GT – If you had to do it all over again, what would you do different?

Not a lot. I have always been busy seeking out opportunity and lived by the phrase ‘failing forward’. One thing would have been to commenced making jerky in the UK sooner.

GT – What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you at work?

Walking into Sainsbury HQ with my now good friend and partner, Joe Walters (Texas Joe Jerky) in his cowboy / Texan attire, just after he had been on the Dragons Den show having won Peter Jones over. He was the star of the moment. The only thing missing was his horse!

GT – Who or what makes you laugh?

Peter Kay, my boys and of course Mrs N.

GT – Do you have any hidden talents?

Extremely driven and ambitious.

GT – Who would be your favourite party guest?

Ronnie O’Sullivan, Jim Kerr (Simple Minds) and Bill Gates…

GT – What is the greatest luxury in your life?

My 911.

GT – What is your favourite guilty pleasure?

Shamelessly showing up with Jerky and Biltong in my pocket and sharing the love of it (over a beer or 2) where ever I go and at every opportunity.

GT – Do you have any secret ambitions?

To be selling Beef Jerky and Biltong in all corners of the world, but especially back to our friends in the USA.

GT – What’s your dream holiday destination?

Bora Bora, French Polynesian.

GT – What are your three favourite movies of all time?

Rain Man, Lethal Weapon and Jason Bourne series.

GT – What is your favourite book of all time?

I have two… Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson and How To Get Rich by Felix Dennis.

GT – What’s your favourite pastimes?

Watching my boys play football, watching all sport, travelling and good wine.

GT – If you won the Lottery, what would you do?

Bucket loads of travel, buy a 911 Turbo, a huge luxury ski lodge in the Alps and build a beach home at Half Moon Bay, Antigua.

GT – What would be your advice to someone thinking about coming into this industry (apart from “don’t do it”)?

Find someone you admire and with the skills you want and copy them – find a mentor.


The Meatsnacks Group was formed in 2015 with the merger of Cruga Ltd and The Jerky Group. The Jerky Group was founded in 2000, and its brands include Wild West Jerky, the UK’s No.1 established beef jerky. The company’s production facilities are in Forres, Grantown on Spey and Milton Keynes.

Since the business began in 2000, we always had the desire to manufacture our own beef jerky in the UK, using domestic beef with UK provenance, and to remove unnecessary preservatives and additives, including added MSG. So, in 2012, we invested in our own jerky facility, supported by the Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and we began manufacturing Wild West Beef Jerky and Texas Joe, Men’s Health and Marks & Spencer own label brand in March of 2013. The company now produces own label jerky for Tesco, Lidl and the itsu brand.

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