Kenneth Axen, Futura

Kenneth Axen is the new MD of Futura Foods

Continental cheese supplier Futura Foods has sold a 44% stake in its business to Danish dairy company Nordex as part of a strategic tie-up to widen Futura’s geographical footprint, and bring more of Nordex’s cheese to the UK.

At the same time, it has announced a change in its senior management, with MD Neil Burchell being replaced with Kenneth Axen, previously Nordex export manager, with immediate effect.

Futura supplies large amounts of Continental speciality cheeses to the UK mults, with a particular focus on Greek and Italian cheeses. It has a 55% share of the feta market in the UK, and owns the Yamas! brand of Greek and Cypriot speciality cheeses.

Nordex manufactures feta-style salad cheese in three dairies in Denmark, Austria and Romania. It currently has very limited business in the UK and supplies none of the mults, but Futura Foods sales director Mark Humphrey said the tie-up with Futura would offer opportunities to bring more of Nordex’s cheeses – primarily those produced in Denmark – to the UK.

In turn, Futura was hoping to use Nordex to widen its footprint on the Continent, such as by supplying some of its Italian cheeses to Scandinavia and by taking advantage of Nordex’s relationships in the Middle East and the US, he said.

Futura founder John Svensson added the deal would strengthen Futura by giving it production capabilities for the first time since it was founded in 2001. “The strategic decision to partner with Nordex opens the doors for many new opportunities to further develop the Mediterranean and white cheese category.”

New MD

New MD Kenneth Axen originally joined as head of retail and foodservice departments, and previously worked for five years at Aldi.

His predecessor, Neil Burchell, had headed up Futura for two years. “We are extremely grateful for Neil’s contribution to the company and wish him the very best in his future endeavours,” Futura said in a statement.