Food company Geest has slashed its five-strong in-house PR department to
two staff following the sale of its banana interests last month.
Last week the company’s board decided to axe three posts within the
Spalding-based department which had previously handled internal
communications and corporate and financial PR for all of Geest’s
prepared food and banana businesses.
The most senior member to leave is director of corporate affairs Clare
Wenner. Previously a director of lobbyist GJW and a civil servant at the
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food before that, Wenner has run
Geest’s corporate affairs department for the last four years.
A key task for Wenner and her two assistants was to lobby on behalf of
Geest and other Caribbean banana exporters on the vexed issue of the
EU’s preferential trade arrangements with banana exporters from former
British and French colonies.
However, since the pounds 148 million acquisition of Geest’s banana
business by Fyffes and the Windward Islands Banana Development Company
in January, the need for such a sizeable in-house lobbying team has
Wenner, who will leave the company within the next few weeks, said she
had no immediate plans but would ‘take a view’ on the agency and in-
PR for Geest’s remaining pizza, salads and sauce interests will be
handled by corporate affairs manager Vicky Elyard.