After opening its first overseas office in London in 1896, the company opened its first UK factory in Peckham, south London in 1905, followed by a factory at Harlesden, north-west London in 1919. Because of its major contribution to wartime food production, its Harlesden factory was bombed at least twice during World War Two, however production carried on regardless as Heinz was so vital to maintaining food resources.
On the 4th October 1940, this article was published in the Bromley & District Times giving details of a large contribution given by the Heinz company towards aircraft production.
Interestingly, because ingredients were in short supply during the war, Heinz Tomato Ketchup did not appear on shelves in the UK from 1939 until 1948.
Mr Howard Heinz, president of the worldwide organisation that bears his name (makers of the 57 Varieties of Pure Food Products) has sent the following cable to Lord Beaverwood, Minister of Aircraft Production :-
“Knowing that Heinz British employees would like to give even more than they can afford in money and in service to help their country win this great war for freedom and civilisation we would like on their behalf to contribute the sum of £20,000 to you for further aircraft production.”
The treasurer of the British House of Heinz called on Lord Beaverwood and handed over personally a cheque for this amount. He stated that this gesture crowns the efforts of all the British employees of the company, who are giving their upmost in service and money, and it unites Mr Heinz still more closely with the affections and aspirations for his British organisation.
So far as the general public are concerned his action will be proclaimed as a great example for others to emulate on both sides of the Atlantic.
Apart from his outstanding achievements in the food industry, Mr Heinz will be remembered for the great work he did in the last war, and as head of the American Relief Administration of South-Eastern Europe after the Armistice.
Published in the Bromley & District Times, 4th October 1940, page 2