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River Action urges Noble Foods to invest vast Gü Puds sale profits into urgent action on farm pollution

  • Noble Foods announced today the sale of Gü Puds to Exponent 
  • Whilst the price was undisclosed industry sources believe it to be in the region of £150m
  • River Action has been calling on Noble Foods to address the degradation of the River Wye by the poultry industry
  • The campaigning group subsequently urges Noble to immediately reinvest a significant part of Gu Puds sale proceeds to implement urgent clean-up action


17 May 2021: River Action notes today’s news regarding the sale by Noble Foods of Gü Puds to Exponent.

Given the substantial cash profit that Noble Foods will realise from this transaction, River Action accordingly calls upon Noble Foods to reinvest with immediate effect a significant part of these proceeds to implement much-needed environmental mitigation measures to clean up the extensive nutrient pollution originating from its intensive poultry units (IPUs) in the Wye Valley.

Campaign group River Action has been calling on Noble Foods, the UK’s largest egg producer and owner of the UK’s No1 egg brand Happy Egg, to take immediate action to address the significant environmental degradation caused to the River Wye by the intensive poultry industry in the area. It is believed that there are over 100 IPUs in and around the River Wye catchment area – half of which are operated by Noble Foods. Each IPU holds at least 40,000 birds.

In a recent response to a letter from River Action, Noble Foods CEO Duncan Everett confirmed that the company was starting to assess the environmental impact of its IPUs and that of its supply chain and that a variety of mitigation measures to deal with pollution were now being considered.

Following today’s news of the sale of Gü Puds, River Action repeats the appeal it made to Noble Foods on 25th March, to undertake immediately the following unilateral actions:

  • Provide a time commitment of when IPU site assessments will be completed and publish a summary of findings and details of the plan to address the issue of nutrient run-off.
  • Publicly commit to a detailed nutrient mitigation plan with an implementation timetable.
  • Commit to invest an appropriate and disclosed level of capital expenditure to implement measures to tackle nutrient run-off.
  • Publish an environmental code of standards that third-party producers must adhere to in order to be contracted as a Noble Foods supplier.
  • Publish a credible environmental policy statement on the Noble Foods website.


Commenting, River Action Chairman Charles Watson said: “With this huge cash windfall in hand, Noble Foods now has absolutely no excuse not to do the right thing and embark upon an immediate investment programme to ensure each and every one of its intensive poultry units installs appropriate manure run-off mitigation systems, as River Action has been urging.”

“As the UK’s largest egg producer, Noble Foods must show leadership rather than hiding behind collective industry responsibility. In showing leadership, the company will be taking a decisive step in tackling what is clearly one of the greatest pollution scandals in this country.”

Contact: For all press and media inquiries, please contact Amy Hammond at Seahorse Environmental –

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