Grampian County Food Group's Sean Whitfield is to become sales and marketing director of Kerrygold when Ray Levett retires from the post at the end of the year.

Whitfield, who has been in charge of the integrated chicken division of Grampian Country Food Group for the past seven years, said he was excited about his new role at Kerrygold.

"My job is to keep our brand moving forward and ensure that all our customers, be they of our brand or own label, get the full advantage of our investment in the UK," he said.

Whitfield will have gained from his experience at Grampian , according to Carl Ravenhall, Kerrygold managing director.

"Sean is coming from a tough industry, which has faced some testing times in recent years - you learn a lot from that," he said.

"He's very customer-focused and committed to supporting the team he is inheriting."

Levett was handing over the baton when the company was fighting fit, he added. "The branded packet butter is the fastest-growing in the market and we are in the process of investing £30m in an advanced, eco-efficient plant," he said.

Levett has been at Kerrygold for 22 years and has held his current role since 2005.

Kerrygold claims to be the biggest independent dairy brand in the United Kingdom and distributes more than 60,000 tonnes of cheese from its UK plant in Leek, Staffordshire.