It all began at a golf course at St. Andrews. At the ninth green, Francis J. Mitchell received a telegram informing him he had lost all his money. Already 60 years old at the time, with three children to provide for, he decided to seek his fortune in India. This he found, though not without trials and tribulations, in a 720 acre plot of land near Renala Khurd, District Okara, which he leased from the Punjab government. This would become the first ever Mitchell’s fruit farm. Mr. Mitchell and his sons, Leonard and Richard, originally tried their luck with vine fruits, but switched to growing citrus fruits when the former proved unworkable. Luckily, citrus fruits were a success, and the lease was extended in 1930, allowing the company-Indian Mildura Fruit Farms Limited- to be registered in 1933.
The Company, with Francis Mitchell as its Governing Director and his two sons, Leonard and Richard, as Directors, was incorporated in 1933 and given the name Indian Mildura Fruit Farms Ltd, a small-scale operation for the processing of citrus fruit into concentrated soft drinks (squashes) and preserves. This early period of experimentation saw the use of improvised machinery for squash production: the juice extraction line consisted of a motorcar shaft with attached revolving reamers.
With the outbreak of World War II, demand for canned fruit and vegetables began to grow rapidly. In 1945 a new factory was established as Kissan Fruit Products (Pvt.) Ltd in Bangalore, South India to cater to this growing demand cost- effectively.
In 1946, Mitchell’s became the sole manufacturer and distributor of their world famous Rose’s brand of Lime Juice Cordial and Lime Marmalade in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
After independence, in1948, the company’s name was changed from Indian Mildura Fruit Farms to Mitchell’s Fruit Farms Ltd and the brand name “MITCHELL’S” became the exclusive property of the Pakistani company.
Two of the three founders of the company, Francis Mitchell and Leonard Mitchell, died – the father in 1933 and the son in 1948 – leaving Richard Mitchell as Chairman and Managing Director of the company.
Richard Mitchell decided to retire in 1957 and, as a consequence, negotiated the sale of his shares.
In 1958 , majority shares in Mitchell’s Fruit Farms Ltd. were bought by members of Syed Maratib Ali’s family, who have maintained their interest ever since.”
In 1980, the company diversified into confectionery, making sugar candies, milk toffees and chocolate eclairs, which resulted in its annual sales being doubled. Since then, the quality of products has been constantly upgraded and new varieties have been added to the growing product range.
The company passed a major milestone when it went public in 1993. Mitchell’s continues to maintain its edge by relying on its dynamic team whose skills are being constantly updated. Maintaining consistent quality has kept the most prestigious national institutions loyal to Mitchell’s growing product range. The company was listed on the stock exchange in 1996.
In 1998, Mitchell’s achieved a major milestone: ISO 9001 accreditation. Mitchell’s takes pride in becoming the first food company in Pakistan to achieve this prestigious distinction.
In 2001, the company’s first molded chocolate line was established, and it moved into the production of enrobed chocolate bars in 2004.
2007 and 2008, was an era of major modernization, during which most of its production lines were upgraded both in the confectionery and grocery section.