The group, which comprises Crisp Malt, EDME and Micronized Food Products, was previously led - and significantly developed - by David Thompson, who sadly passed away last July.
In addition to building on Thompson’s legacy, Sands - a chartered accountant with an MBA (Master of Business Administration) - brings his own skills, ethos and ambitions to the role.
“It’ll be an exciting challenge for us to take the already-strong customer support to new levels," he said. "That’s as well as driving forward on our sustainability goals and the innovation work with the ingredients we produce.”
Country Malt Group
His most recent role was in the US with the rapidly expanding Country Malt Group. His five and a half years there, first as director of finance, then general manager, embedded him in the malt industry.
During his tenure, the group served the US craft brewing industry, which has more than 10,000 members. That gave him considerable experience in the craft sector - and delivering for customers.
Sands says his advocacy for the sector was not exclusively professional. “Five and a half years living in Portland definitely fuelled my enthusiasm for craft beers. It’s not for nothing that it’s known as the craft beer capital of America.
Craft bakery & food
“Actually, Portland is also building a reputation for its craft distilling, so there might be some truth in the rumours that I tried a few of the formidable whiskies produced in the region.” He also expressed his keenness to get his teeth into the craft bakery and food sectors, which EDME supplies, and establish common ground and opportunities for collaboration.
“I’ve joined a company with a century and a half of tradition and heritage. That’s a contrast to Country Malt Group’s mere 25 years of operating, and there are lessons from the success of the new kid on the block. We’ll be drawing on some of those as we investigate opportunities for AMH, looking at which ones can help us deliver more for our customers."
Stuart and his wife have three young children and are from families in Ireland.