The hygiene and food safety company said the appointment would bring “significant experience” of food operations and knowledge of the current industry challenges to the Ozo board.
Howarth, the former coo of the European division of Nomad Foods, the owner of Birds Eye and Findus, stepped down from her role in June 2017.
According to Ozo Innovations, she was instrumental in leading the private equity-backed carve-out of iconic frozen food brands Birds Eye, Findus and Iglo from Unilever.
She has also worked across a range of food sectors, including Walkers Snack Foods (a division of PepsiCo) and the Coca-Cola Company, in a range of senior technology and operational roles.
“Innovation and the sustainable use of resources are critical competences for food businesses seeking greater competitiveness in the current climate,” said Howarth. “Ozo is proving that hygiene is a valuable source of competitive advantage and can release additional process capacity in the food industry. I am very excited to be joining Ozo at this stage of its development and look forward to working with the board as Ozo grows and matures.”
“I am looking forward to working with Tania in her new role as chairman,” said Rowan Gardner, ceo of Ozo Innovations. “The food industry is facing new challenges and hygiene has not been recognised as providing an opportunity for significant resource efficiency and margin win. Tania’s industry insight will be valuable to focusing our strategy to help the business succeed and our customers to win.”
Nomad Foods acquired Iglo Foods in April 2015 for £1.87bn and followed this with the purchase of the European business of Findus Group for £500M in August 2015. Earlier this month, Nomad Foods revealed plans to buy Goodfella’s Pizza from 2 Sisters Food Group owner Boparan Holdings, in a deal worth £199M.