Senior hires at Fudge Kitchen and Chesterfield Poultry

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

(L-R) Fudge Kitchen MD Richard Parsons and Chesterfield Poultry director of agriculture John Kirkpatrick
(L-R) Fudge Kitchen MD Richard Parsons and Chesterfield Poultry director of agriculture John Kirkpatrick

Related tags appointments

Artisan confectioner Fudge Kitchen and meat processor Chesterfield Poultry have both announced senior appointments at their businesses.

Richard Parson has been appointed the new managing director of Fudge Kitchen, taking over leadership of the company from finance manager Linsey Priestly.

Now in its second year as an employee-owned business, Fudge Kitchen has been under the stewardship of Priestly since August 2023.

Parson joined the business in January 2020 as marketing and communications manager helping to navigate the company through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and spearheading sustainability initiatives.

Director shuffle

He assumed the role of marketing and brand director in the wake of founder Siân Holt’s sudden illness and departure from her role as managing director in 2023.

Commenting on his appointment, Parson said: “I'm honoured to fill the role of Managing Director of such an inspiring company as Fudge Kitchen. I owe a debt of gratitude to our dedicated teams for their unwavering commitment to our mission of making the world a sweeter place, and for their personal support.”

Now celebrating its 40th​ anniversary, Fudge Kitchen operates six stores across the UK, a thriving e-commerce platform and an artisan production Kitchen. The confectioner took home the Community Award at this year’s Food Manufacture Excellence Awards.

Meanwhile, Chesterfield Poultry has appointed former Tesco agriculture manager John Kirkpatrick as its new director of agriculture.

Poultry industry history

During his time with the retailer, Kirkpatrick was responsible for poultry and eggs across Asia, South America and Europe. He boasts more than 20 years’ experience within the sector.

He also sat on the Assured Food Standards (Red Tractor) Poultry Board, representing the British Retail Consortium during his tenure at the retailer, between 2015 and 2023. 

In his new role, Kirkpatrick will be responsible for overseeing the agricultural supply chain at Chesterfield Poultry.

Commenting on Kirkpatrick’s appointment, managing director Nadeem Iqbal said: “We are delighted to welcome John to the Chesterfield family, recognising his strong agricultural and commercial experience.

“He has built his career on strong and trusted relationships with the farming supply chain which will help us to continue to deliver and grow with our farming supply base and meet the needs of our customers.”

In other appointment news, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board has hired Richard Hampton as its new international trade development director.

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