J. Richard Hawley - Lead Processing Consultant

Richard was born in West Yorkshire, England in the mid 60’s, son of a Sales Manager who worked for an international business machine manufacturer. From an early age, it became clear to his parents that he was more a “hands on” person than an academic. Rather than doing his English homework, he would spend countless hours pulling broken typewriters and photocopiers to bits to see how they worked, before putting them back together fixed.

After leaving school at 16, he entered full time employment as an electrical apprentice. He quickly gained a broad experience in many aspects of electrical control units and their design, manufacture, testing and installation.  He soon started to establish a reputation having identified how to treble production on a particular production line with no additional costs. 

After several years he moved to work for Chickway Systems, a local company, who were World leaders in automated systems. Their core products were supplied into the poultry processing industry. They also designed and supplied “state-of-the-art” microprocessor control systems for many other automated processes.  These included steel production/rolling plants, portable blood dialysis, CNC applications, automated stock storage and retrieval systems.

"Richard gained such a reputation that he was frequently invited into the boardrooms of many major poultry processing companies in the UK..."


They were pioneers and world leaders in the high-speed weighing and distribution of poultry on overhead conveyors in abattoirs and had installed systems in around 60 countries, many of them sold by Stork who were their overseas agents.

Commencing employment as a junior production assistant, he quickly gained several promotions culminating in being appointed Sales and Marketing Director. He became renowned for performing a wide range of duties, which would traditionally be beyond a person of his age.  From being in his early 20’s, Richard gained such a reputation that he was frequently invited into the boardrooms of many major poultry processing companies in the UK and around the World, to troubleshoot their production problems or look at introducing new and cutting-edge technologies.

In 1990 Richard left Chickway Systems and went to work with Nigel Cope who owned Cope & Cope Ltd. They were the pioneers of modern on-line methods of plucking poultry. They had previously developed all the technology that is still in daily use today in on-line scalders and disk plucking machines. They specialised in lower volume plants from around 500 birds per hour to 6,000 birds per hours. During Richard's time at Cope & Cope, he helped negotiate agency agreements with Systemate, Tielman and Marel. This allowed them to be able to offer total solutions to customers requiring new processing facilities. Richard's approach to developing new factories was somewhat unusual. Not only would he start working with his customer at an early conceptual stage, he would also design each and every production process and line. He would also take a lead roll in commissioning the systems during start up. This gave Richard thousands of hours experience in troubleshooting killing and plucking lines, evisceration rooms, chill systems as well as cutup and packing departments. This unusual approach helped Richard develop into a unique expert in poultry processing and project design and management.

In the mid 90’s Richard formed Hawley Associates and specialised in the evaluation and streamlining of poultry processing facilities and the design, implementation and project management of new installations.  Whether the requirement be a 25,000 bird per week factory, the implementation of a new processing line or the construction and development of a fully integrated poultry processing business producing 1 million birds per week, Richard and his associates have the expertise, skills and knowledge to ensure that the final result will be most cost effective and profitable for the business stakeholders. Whether you are a small to medium sized, single location company or a multi faceted PLC, Richard can be relied upon to quickly understand all your requirements or issues.

As Richard puts it “I can’t remember seeing a poultry processing facility that I couldn't immediately see ways of making improvements to improve yield or productivity, reduce labour or waste. I always see ways to do things better by streamlining operations to make a real impact to the bottom line.”

By utilising over 40 years worth of experience gained from solving problems in many hundreds of poultry processing factories in operation across four continents, he is uniquely placed as a specialist poultry processing consultant to help reduce your costs and increase production efficiency, manage the design and implementation of new facilities or help integrate new acquisitions into the existing business.



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