35= (31=) Ranjit and Baljinder Boparan £130m (£110m)

Ranjit and Baljinder Boparan recently came sixth in a league table of the country’s top entrepreneurs, all this from a business which foodies tell us we should be shunning.

The husband and wife team have made their money from processed chickens. Their West Bromwich-based Two Sisters Food Group is best known for its Buxted brand of whole chickens and chicken dishes, and also supplies own-brand chicken products to supermarkets, including M&S and Tesco.

With more people taking an interest in where their food has come from, free range and organic chicken also form a major part of the product offering.

The Boparan’s success has come from ambitious expansion and acquisition. In June the company bought three businesses which added 530 employees to their 3,500-strong payroll.

The Scottish primary processing business Joseph Mitchell (Letham) Ltd was acquired to augment the existing Two Sisters primary processing operations in Scunthorpe and Flixton.

In addition two poultry businesses, Challenger Foods in Sunderland and Tulip Ltd in Morecambe, who cook and roast poultry for the major retailer and food service markets, were bought to complement Two Sisters’ Haughley Park operation and combine to form a £100 million turnover division.

As well as expanding their range and geographical reach these acquisitions give the Boparans an entry into niche markets including Halal, wholesale and independent butchers.

The flagship of the group is its Scunthorpe processing plant which was the subject of a £6 million investment programme in 2006. It is now one of the most modern and best equipped food processing plants in Europe.