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Tullis Russell celebrates ‘Employee Ownership Day’

08 Jun 2014

Activities on the day, run by the employees of the company, included mill tours for friends and family and a wide variety of fundraising initiatives benefiting local cancer charity Maggies and the Ansan Ferry Disaster Appeal.

The day was attended by past chairman David Erdal who, in 1987, was the architect of employee ownership at Tullis Russell. As a leading producer of premium paper, cartonboard and specialist coatings Tullis Russell now has over 740 employee owners working across three international sites. Its mills at Markinch supply premium paper and cartonboard to some of the biggest global brands across the world including Swarovski, L'Oréal and Morrison Bowmore.

Chris Parr, group chief executive of Tullis Russell commented: "'Employee Ownership Day is an ideal opportunity for our staff to get together and celebrate what makes us different. The enthusiasm from everyone involved today has been fantastic."

"We are Scotland's longest established, and largest,employee owned business. Our structure facilitates independent decision making allowing us to focus on the long-term without the short-term pressures often imposed by external shareholders. This allows us to make the right decisions to safeguard our future and deliver real benefits to the business and our local community. With our partners RWE npower renewables a new £200 million CHP plant started providing sustainable energy for our mill this year, significantly improving our competiveness and making a major contribution to Scotland's renewable energy targets. Whether it's this type of strategic development in our future, working at a deeper level with our customers or changing the business to meet new market demands, these decisions are made so much easier with our employee-owned structure."

"We also know that customers appreciate our point of difference in the market. We have a more engaged workforce and the ability to plan for the future, yet can make quick calls when required, allowing us to foster the strong 'partnerships' which are the bedrock of our global reach."
Employing 28,000 people and turning over in excess of £4 billion, Scotland's 644 co-operative or employee owned businesses make an invaluable contribution to the country's economic resilience. On the wider stage these enterprises contribute to a unified UK turover of £30 billion across the employee owned sector, representing two per cent of GDP. The latest figures suggest that over the last 12 months there has been a 10% increase in companies converting to this innovative management structure*. 

Sarah Deas, chief executive of Co-Operative Development Scotland (CDS), said: "Employee ownership is a succession solution that gives employees a meaningful stake in their company and a genuine say in how it is run. Tullis Russell fully demonstrates the benefits of the model - increased innovation, productivity and growth, whilst focusing on long term sustainability. EO Day is an opportunity for employee-owned companies across the country to come together and celebrate their success."

Employee Ownership Association CEO Iain Hasdell said:"Companies such as Tullis Russell are great examples of the success and engagement that can be achieved in an employee owned environment. The EOA is delighted to work on their behalf to celebrate Employee Ownership Day, and make it easier for other UK companies to follow their lead into employee ownership so that we can reach our target of 10% of UK GDP to be generated by employee owned business by 2020."

*Sources: Employee Ownership Association and Cooperative Development Scotland