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Tributes paid to Gressingham Foods founder, Maurice Buchanan, who has died at the age of 86





Tributes have been paid to the founder of a national food producer in Redgrave, synonymous with selling duck, who has died at the age of 86.

Maurice Buchanan, who started Gressingham Foods in 1989, died at his home on March 5.

Mr Buchanan and his wife Miriam moved to Debach in Suffolk from Northern Ireland with sons, William and Geoff, in 1971 where he built two sheds and started to farm chickens.

Maurice William Buchanan, founder of Gressingham Foods.
Maurice William Buchanan, founder of Gressingham Foods.

But changing to producing a duck which was a cross between Pekin and Wild Mallard would be the spark that started a food empire that now makes around £100 million a year.

William, who is a group director at Gressingham Foods with his brother, said of his father: “The Redgrave factory was acquired in 2007 and through his leadership and innovation the business became established in the retail and wholesale markets, with Gressingham Foods now the major supplier of ducks in the UK.

“He was a great inspiration to my brother and I and he will be missed by all those that knew him.”

The distribution centre of Gressingham Foods in Redgrave was acquired in 2007
The distribution centre of Gressingham Foods in Redgrave was acquired in 2007

The first 200 Gressingham ducklings which went to the family farm arrived by train from Peterborough, with the family picking them up in Cambridge, and after perfecting the breed Gressingham Duck was born.

Aside from ducks, Mr Buchanan was also a man of great Christian faith, with St John’s Church in Woodbridge paying tribute to him.

The church’s statement said: “His strong Christian faith gave him peace, purpose and direction throughout his life and comfort at the end.

“We are thankful he was peaceful and at home with his close family nearby. He will be greatly missed by many.”

There will be a private family funeral, but friends of Mr Buchanan are welcome to a service of thanksgiving, on April 16 at 2pm, at Easton Grange (IP13 0EL).

Mr Buchanan leaves behind his wife Miriam, sons William and Geoff, daughter-in-laws Becky and Ali, and grandchildren Abi, Jame, Millie, Oliver, Olivia, Maddy and Charlie.



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