Production is due to begin at the facility next year, in addition to commercialisation of the potato protein extracted.
Seagrief joined the business as part of the graduate programme more than 10 years ago, and returns having amassed several years of experience with the food industry.
Aside from working in operational and managerial roles with Branston, he served as a space planning officer at the University of Lincoln and filled managerial positions at Jordans Dorset Ryvita.
The new role will see Seagrief work alongside the factory team as Branston looks to extract high-quality protein from low value potato by-products. Working in partnership with RootExtracts Ltd, the firm invested millions into the project which is the first of its kind in the UK.
Potato protein can be used as an ingredient across the food manufacturing industry, namely in baking, plant-based meat alternatives and delis. In advance of launching production in early 2024, Branston is looking to further expand its protein extraction team.
Protein technology has ‘huge potential’
Speaking about his decision to re-join the potato supplier, Seagrief said that the challenge of leading on such a unique project was a key factor that excited him about the role.
“I’m hungry to keep developing and progressing in my career, and Branston has enabled me to do that through its aspirational culture and mission to continually innovate,” he said.
“This is a hugely important time for us, with Branston investing in driving sustainable change and better industry practices.”
Seagrief believes that the potential for this new technology is huge, stating that “the world is our oyster”.
“I am thrilled to be part of the Branston journey as we fine-tune and scale up our operations to meet the demand for UK-grown functional protein,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Branston managing director Jim Windle said the team was delighted to welcome Seagrief back into the fold.
“His production knowledge and experience with high care food factory environments will be invaluable,” Windle added.
“Tom has already fully embraced our ongoing mission to utilise all of the crops we handle, and to get the best quality, and most sustainable return for the end to end supply chain from every single tuber.”