Food and drink industry senior appointments

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

There a raft of senior appointment
There a raft of senior appointment

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Potato supplier Branston, GS1 UK and Sofina Foods have all announced senior food and drink industry appointments.

Potato supplier Branston, GS1UK and Sofina Foods have all announced senior food and drink industry appointments.

Branston appoints new managing director

Jim Windle, managing director at Branston (2)


National potato supplier Branston has promoted its former financial director Jim Windle as managing director. 

Windle, who joined the company in 2015, has been acting as deputy managing director and brings 20 years of professional experience to his new role - almost eight of which have been spent at Branston.  

Stepping into the role of managing director is something that has been planned for a while with our shareholder board and the executive team. I am thrilled and proud to be taking the Branston business forward and cannot wait to get started. We have an exciting plan and a strong team to deliver it,” ​Windle said. 

“We are constantly looking at new ways we can adapt and ensure our entire supply chain from field to shelf edge is managed in a sustainable and responsible way.”


GS1 UK has made two major appointments 

GS1 UK has announced that Ian Keilty, chief operating officer of Wincanton and Ursula Lavery, Technical and R&D Director Europe at Moy Park, have been appointed to the supervisory board.


Keilty joined Wincanton as managing director of retail and consumer in November 2018 and was appointed COO in April 2020. He was previously vice president of European supply chain at Sysco and chief operating officer at Brakes, the food service supplier.

He has held various positions on the operating boards and executive committees at Booker Group and Iceland Stores. Prior to this Ian worked in engineering and supply chain roles for Mars, British Gas and Nissan, and holds an MBA from London Business School. 

Since joining Moy Park in 1987, Ursula has played a role in building the organisation’s commitment to food safety and quality. She was appointed to the Executive Board in 2013 and currently serves as Technical and R&D Director for Europe. Recognised as a leading authority on food safety, Ursula sits on several advisory bodies including IGD Technical Leadership Forum, the Food Industry Initiative on Antimicrobials (FIIA) and Agri Food Quest. She is a board member and Vice Chair of the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association (NIFDA), the Industrial Advisory Board of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen's University Belfast and is a non-executive Director of Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL).  


Chris Tyas OBE, chair of GS1 UK,​ said: “The insights and guidance provided by the supervisory board are at the very heart of our strategy. They allow us to keep a finger on the pulse of industry, ensuring that the trends and issues shaping the future of UK plc inform the many ways in which we harness to power of standards to keep people informed and protected. 

“With their in-depth knowledge, our new non-executive directors are perfectly placed to help us engage with industry to find shared solutions – enabled by the interoperability of GS1 standards - to address the issues that businesses struggle to solve alone. Their backgrounds and skills will be particularly beneficial to our retail and grocery members as they adapt to shifting industry dynamics such as the implementation of deposit return schemes and the Food Data Transparency Partnership.” 


New head of group packaging development at Sofina Foods

Einar Olgeirsson

Sofina Europe, owners of Young’s Seafood and the Karro Food Group, have appointment of Einar Olgeirsson as its new head of group packaging development.

Einar, a Grimsby local, started with Young’s Seafood 18 years ago in a temporary administrative support role at Ross House, eventually becoming an assistant packaging technologist and working his way up through the company. 

His new role will be to lead on the development of new and innovative packaging, with an emphasis on promoting and progressing Sofina Europe’s sustainability measures through waste reduction across all Sofina UK sites. 

Einar, who now leads a team of six,​ will be helping to drive Sofina’s sustainability strategy, with a target of 100% recyclability on all packaging by 2025. 

Einar said: “At Sofina Europe, we strongly believe that a focus on sustainability and transparency in our approach is vital if we are to continue our position as leaders of sustainability in the food manufacturing industry.

“I’m excited to not only aid Sofina Europe in reaching its sustainability goals but to enable our customers to meet sustainability targets as well. Having started my career as a teacher – before moving to Young’s and working my way up the ranks – I am dedicated to educating our consumers and demonstrating our social responsibility as an organisation.” 

Paul Craft, chief commercial officer of Sofina Europe added: “Having removed 170 metric tonnes of paper packaging and 200 metric tonnes of plastic packaging in 2020, our focus has turned to ensuring that 100% of our packaging is recyclable by 2025. We are proud to share that 90% of our branded packaging in Young’s is now recyclable, which puts us well on track to meeting our 2025 commitment.”

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