Latest senior appointments across the food industry

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

A.F. Blakemore and Food Alert both announced recent senior appointments
A.F. Blakemore and Food Alert both announced recent senior appointments

Related tags Food safety

Food Manufacture rounds up the latest senior appointments from across the food and beverage industry.

A.F. Blakemore appoints managing director of foodservice division

Food distributor A.F. Blakemore has announced the appointment of Lawrence Shirazian as managing director of the firm’s newly formed foodservice business unit. He has been tasked with leading a division that unites Blakemore’s foodservice, fresh meat and wholesale divisions.

Shirazian arrives at the firm with a wealth of experience built through roles across the hospitality, leisure, catering and retail sectors, having most recently consulted for private equity and software companies in the hospitality space.

Previously, Shirazian served as managing director at Aramark UK, leading operations across 700 locations and 8,000 colleagues. During his 14-year tenure Lawrence developed the firm’s strategic and operational framework, while he was focused on driving quality and innovation and strengthening competitive differentiation and increasing its market share and profitability.

During his career, Shirazian has also fulfilled senior roles at Delaware North Companies, Welcome Break and Zizzi restaurants.

I am thrilled to be joining A.F. Blakemore to deliver the strategic vision at such an exciting time for their Foodservice businesses​,” Shirazian said.

I share the passion for creating value by providing our partners with great food and drink solutions borne out of a deep understanding of their customers and a need for operational efficiency​.”

A.F. Blakemore recently announced sales of £1.2bn and a 65% increase in EBITDA for the year ending May 2023.

Carol Welch, chief executive at A.F. Blakemore, added: “We’re delighted that Lawrence is joining us. His knowledge extends across a breadth of sectors making him ideally placed to oversee the newly formed business unit.  He brings a customer first approach coupled with deep operational understanding that will ensure we continue to create value through growth and productivity for our partners and our business​.”

Food Alert names new technical director

Food safety specialist Food Alert has appointed Sioned Hatcher-Evans as its new technical director, strengthening its position as a strategic partner for food and drink businesses that are looking to adapt to regulatory changes.

Hatcher-Evans was previously head of safety and risk at restaurant chain TGI Fridays UK and has also acted as an environmental health practitioner. She possesses extensive experience in the regulatory field of environmental health and maintaining compliance within food and hospitality organisations.

During her seven-year career, Hatcher-Evans has led projects to fully digitalise and upgrade safety-related management systems within the hospitality sector to ensure they meet operational demands and that regulatory changes are easily absorbed with minimal disruption.

Commenting on her new role, Hatcher-Evans said that she was passionate about helping business build a “positive safety culture, bridging the gap between safety management systems and operators​”.

“I look forward to using my experience of operations, enforcement, and internal safety compliance to support customers and to be a dependable, professional voice within Food Alert​,” she continued.

Subjects such as allergen management are at the forefront of potential future legislation, which can be challenging for food businesses of all sizes. Set against the backdrop of an already challenging operating landscape, professional third-party support and advice has never been more valuable​.”

Meanwhile, David Bashford, managing director at Food Alert, added: “Food Alert is poised to support clients with changes to regulatory enforcement as the industry continues to evolve.

“Sioned has a unique insight into the challenges faced by food businesses, and I’ve no doubt that this experience will contribute towards further growth and development for the organisation.”

In other news, Food Manufacture explores how the food and drink industry can make improvements in the areas of food safety, hygiene and cleaning.

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