Lord Vestey, who was born in 1941, is from Gloucestershire, in SW England. After three years as an officer in the army he joined the family firm, The Vestey Group, where he has been involved for the last 50 years, becoming a director in 1971, and Chairman in 1995. Born Samuel George Armstrong, he inherited his title from his grandfather in 1954.
The Vestey Group is a fourth generation business owned 100% by the Vestey family and headquartered in London. Founded in 1897 by two brothers, William and Edmund Vestey, its purpose was sourcing overseas large quantities of quality, affordable food to feed the rapidly growing British population. They found supplies from all over the world, including USA, Russia, China, South America and Australasia. The Vesteys set up the Blue Star Shipping Line to transport the food they sourced, back to Europe.
The business has also been involved in Food retailing in the UK [owning some 2500 outlets] and now comprises farming interests in Brazil and Venezuela, and food trading and wholesaling interests in South America, Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.
Lord Vestey has been a key figure in many of the UK’s food or rural societies and organisations, including the Institute of Meat, the Meat Training Council the Three Counties Agricultural Society, the Royal Bath & West of England Agricultural Society and the British Horse Society. In sport he is the Patron of Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, and has been a Member, Steward and Chairman of Disciplinary Committee of the Jockey Club.
Other leading roles include active participation and involvement in the Gloucestershire Association of Boys, The Order of St John and the St John Eye Hospital Jerusalem, the Campaign for Preservation of Rural England in Gloucestershire, where he lives, and is also Master of the Horse. He was made Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 2009.
He owns and runs the Stowell Park Estate [6000 acres] has sporting Estates in Yorkshire and an Estate on the Isle of Jura (10,000 acres), and a small thoroughbred stud at home in Gloucestershire .