James started his business career in 1981 as an area sales manager with Herdwise – a North Yorkshire-based cattle breeding company. He became MD in 1985 and the same year co-acquired Cardosi, a small ice cream business on Teesside.
James became its MD in 1987 and the company – which started with just one factory and five employees – has since developed into R&R Ice Cream. Now Europe’s largest own label ice cream manufacturer, the business has factories in the UK, Poland, France and Germany, a total workforce of 2,000 and is expecting turnover this year to be around €500 million.
James is a non-executive chairman of the Animalcare Group plc and led its acquisition from Genus plc and subsequent restructuring of Ritchey. He is also non-executive director of New England Seafood.
“When I was first approached and asked if I would be a member of the Billion Pound Panel I was delighted but also aware of the opportunity that this presents. Despite facing some tough times, there are opportunities available to those who are willing to go out and get them. I expect that the topic I am going to cover will appeal to a wide audience and in particular those entrepreneurs who want to encourage growth and prosperity.”
James Lambert, CEO and Executive Chairman of R&R Ice Cream