Dairy Crest has appointed Peter Thornton to the board as an executive managing director, with effect from April 1.

Meanwhile, Chris Roberts, executive MD since joining Dairy Crest following the acquisition of the Unigate dairy and cheese businesses in July 2000, will stand down from the board and leave the company on May 16 to “pursue other interests outside of the dairy industry”.

Thornton has been MD of Dairy Crest's spreads business since September 2000.