GRAVY manufacturer Goldenfry Foods has won its case against three former senior employees that misused trade secrets to prise away a £5m contract to supply own-brand gravy granules to a national supermarket chain.

The Wetherby-based business was awarded damages and costs of £6 million in a High Court judgment after a three-year legal battle.

The court ruled that the defendants, technical director Malcolm Austin, customer service manager Paul Chapman and brands manager Rob Waddell, had misused trade secrets and that Malcolm Austin had deliberately taken commercial information.

The ruling allowed Goldenfry to purchase the assets of Frontier Foods and Austin, Chapman and Waddell may not to compete in the UK gravy products sector for two years.

Peter Turrill, managing director at Goldenfry, said: “We had no option but to litigate because what happened fundamentally undermined our business. The taking of the trade secrets threatened the livelihoods of people here that had worked extraordinarily hard to make Goldenfry into a market leading company.

Goldenfry was advised by law firm Gordons.