All in a Day's Work

Gareth Cooke, Ecotone, on his role in food and drink

By Bethan Grylls

- Last updated on GMT

Gareth Cooke (pictured) works as Ecotone's commercial director for the UK and Ireland
Gareth Cooke (pictured) works as Ecotone's commercial director for the UK and Ireland

Related tags Business Leadership

For this month's All in a Day's Work, we interview Gareth Cooke as he tells Food Manufacture about his role at Ecotone and a little about himself.


Gareth Cooke



Job title

Commercial director UK&I

Company and location

Ecotone, Camberley


GCSE’s, A-Levels and degree

Favourite food/drink

It certainly depends on the meal, but it’s hard to look past a good steak and glass of red wine!

What inspired you to enter F&B?

I’ve always enjoyed food and drink and have been fascinated about the journey of food, from how its produced to how it ends up on our plates. It became clear to me as a career choice after my brother started working in FMCG as he’d shared great insight and passion, so I quickly followed. Naturally, working for a company such as Ecotone is a great fit as we’re like one big family with strong shared values.

Tell us about your role

I head up the sales division of our pioneering Ecotone UK brands, Clipper Teas, Kallø, and Clipper Teas. It’s hugely varied, fun and challenging in equal measure!

What does a typical day look like?

No two days are the same. but I start early to get ahead of myself where I can. I’ll then head into meetings internally that can cover anything from one- to three-year innovation launches, new business opportunities, commercial planning and customer meetings. As part of the management team, I’m involved in decisions that impact every part of the business, so there’s never a dull moment.

How did you get to where you are today?

I’ve been very fortunate to be able to work in some great businesses, for some great people and in some great teams, all of which have taught me a huge amount. Commitment over motivation coupled with hard work have been key, allowing me to navigate effectively through the ups and downs of any career journey.

When you’re having a bad day, what cheers you up?

My family and a Double Decker – coupled with a cup of our delicious and natural Clipper Teas, of course.

What’s your favourite part about the food sector?

It’s rewarding to see a product be enjoyed by consumers that you’ve been a part of from concept to creation. We’re lucky to have a large product offering across our purposeful Ecotone UK brands that mean this feeling is a frequent one – through championing plant-based and alternative ingredients that help protect biodiversity.

If you could change one thing about the F&B sector, what would it be?

I’d love to see more genuine attempts by the industry and our customers to bring their CSR (corporate social responsibility) goals to life. It’s not always easy to make them tangible and visible, but more can definitely be done.

What’s next for you/what’s the dream?

I try not to look too far ahead as in such an uncertain world, the speed of change seems to be ever-increasing, and you never know what’s around the corner! So, I hope I can continue to enjoy what I’m doing and with good people along the way.

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