First Milk has announced the appointment of Clive Sharpe as chairman.
The appointment will be effective from February 1 this year and follows approval from First Milk members in December for a leaner and more commercial board structure.
Mr Sharpe has had a career in food manufacturing spanning 35 years and is a former chairman of Quorn Foods and Burtons Biscuits, former non-executive director of Duerr’s jams and Tangerine Confectionery, and former chief executive of WT Foods, Golden Wonder and Homepride Foods. He is currently chairman of Peters Foods.
Nigel Evans, First Milk’s interim chairman and farmer director, said: "Clive is a highly experienced commercial leader with a track record of leading transformational change across a variety of branded and private label businesses. He is highly regarded and well connected across UK Retail and has substantial experience as a chairman, executive, and non-executive.
"This is a key appointment as we implement a leaner and more commercial structure as part of the transformation of First Milk.”
Mike Gallacher, chief executive said: “I am looking forward to working closely with Clive who brings a wealth of commercial and leadership experience to the new First Milk team. The business has made rapid progress in difficult circumstances over the last nine months and this appointment, together with accompanying changes in our Board structure will strengthen our cooperative for the long term.
"The pace of change will continue as we reshape First Milk to deliver for our farmer members.”
Mr Sharpe added: “Mike Gallacher and the First Milk Board have set a clear direction for the business, and a huge amount of progress has been made over the last nine months. I am attracted by the potential of First Milk and the opportunity to get the company working well for its farmer owners.”
Since joining the business last March, Mr Gallacher has led First Milk as it sought to rebuild after a tough start to 2015.