Bentley will take on the newly created role of commercial director, responsible for leading Sleaford’s push into the retail market.
She joins the business after spending six years with Nestlé as both business controller and regional sales director for the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
Commenting on her appointment, Bentley said: “Sleaford has all the party pieces required to succeed in today’s turbulent food market.
Customers old and new
“I am looking forward to showing our customers, both new and old, the new factories in India and introducing our farmers to our UK buyers.”
Sleaford sources exotic fruits, spices and herbs directly from parent company Jain Farm Fresh’s farms in India, as it targets further growth in foodservice and expands into retail.
James Arnold, managing director of Sleaford Quality Foods, added: “We’re very excited to have Sonja on board. She has the experience and knowledge to take the company forward as we enter a new period of significant growth.”
New category buyer
Bentley’s appointment followed the hiring of a new category buyer to the team in August. New appointment Clare Bullivant will be responsible for the procurement of a range of raw material categories for the business.
Previously at Bakkavor and Premier Foods, Bullivant has worked throughout the supply chain process in a range of different business sectors, such as wholesale gardening and ambient/chilled food, as well as the pet food sector.
Meanwhile, last month, Sleaford said it was set to benefit from a new 14,000m2 spice processing facility by Jain, reportedly the largest spice production facility in India with a capacity of 24,000mt a year.