Neil Burchell appointed Futura Foods md

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Milk

Burchell pictured in the early noughties, as md of Rachel's former UK parent Horizon Organic Dairy
Burchell pictured in the early noughties, as md of Rachel's former UK parent Horizon Organic Dairy
Neil Burchell has been appointed md of specialty cheese producer Futura Foods, and says he intends to drive the firm’s branded focus, where products are now mainly own-label.

Former Rachel’s Organic​ and Loseley Dairy Ice Cream md Burchell told that there was a space in the market for a “quality brand in the specialty cheese area”​, given the success of brands such as Collier’s Cheddar and Cathedral City in the cheddar sphere.

He said Futura Foods was well-placed to develop branded offerings, given its strong supply relations with European dairies, from which it sources cheeses.

The firm supplies a range of Greek, Cypriot, Italian, Northern European and Spanish cheeses to food manufacturers and major multiples such as Tesco, Waitrose and Morrisson’s, as well as wholesalers.

Robust growth plans

Burchell said the company had a turnover of around £20m, and although it had significant growth plans: “I’m only at the end of my third week at the moment, and we’ve only just kicked-off a planning process, although we’re looking to put a robust three-year plan in place.”

Asked how the cheese business differed from ice cream, following his recent tenure with Loseley, Burchell said: “It’s a lot less seasonal, although salad cheeses and haloumi have clear summer peaks, but this is offset by demand for Italian cheeses, which is consistent all-year round.”

Burchell recently left Loseley Ice Cream after that firm fell into administration, with analysts variously blaming the cyclical nature of the ice cream market​, price increases for cream and sugar and promotional activity by major premium brand owners.

However, understands that the administration had little to do with commodity issues, and was the consequence of Loseley’s venture capitalist backer Acuity Capital withdrawing funding after a partnership break up.

Related topics People & Skills Dairy

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