She joins Wessanen from herbs and spices business McCormick’s, where she served as UK general manager for more than three years.
Vass has more than 20-years’ experience in the food and drink industry, including senior roles at dairy processor Danone and Premier Foods (see box below).
In her new role, Vass will be primarily focused on driving growth across Wessanen’s four UK brands – Whole Earth, Kallo, Clipper Teas and Mrs Crimble’s – while increasing market share and awareness.
Commenting on her appointment, Vass said: “Wessanen’s clarity of vision and passion for its products and people shines through in all that the company does.
‘Growth and innovation’
“I am excited to join this dynamic and pioneering business at this key time and to have the opportunity to facilitate further growth and innovation.”
The hire comes as Wessanen launched a new scheme to make its products healthier and more environmentally friendly.
This included a set of commitments and targets to improve its environmental outputs, increase the health credentials of its products, build on its ethical supply chain and introduce more diversity and agility into the way the company operate.
Was will work closely with the group’s team in the Netherlands to implement the new guidelines across the UK.
Wessanen Group CEO Christophe Barnouin added that the business has set out a clear roadmap and agreed clear commitments up to 2025.
‘Connecting to nature’
“We believe the industrialisation of food has broken a vital link between humans and the food we eat. So rather than to hope that more complex science will fix the problem, we believe the answer lies in connecting to nature,” said Barnouin.
“We are pleased that Emma has joined us to further accelerate the development of our business and help even more British consumers to make healthier and more sustainable food choices.”
Clipper Teas bagged a top trophy at last year’s food industry Oscars, the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards. The Dorset-based business won the Me and My Factory: Editor’s Choice Award in recognition of the excellence of its manufacturing plant in Beaminster.
Register your interest in this year’s awards, to be held at the Hilton Park Lane in London on November 7.
Meanwhile, last month, Wessanen invested £1.25M in new equipment at its Beaminster factory, allowing it to manufacture all of its tea brands at a single site.
Emma Vass: CV
McCormick, general manager: June 2015 – February 2018
Danone, commercial director: November 2009 – May 2015
Danone, grocery controller: January 2006 – January 2009
Danone, national account manager (NAM) roles: 2004 – 2006
Premier Foods, NAM roles: 2002 – 2004
Mars Confectionery, Sales: 1998 – 2002