Arla Foods has made a first step towards replacing its 'iron lady of dairy', former deputy CEO Hanne Søndergaard, with the ­appointment of Ash Amirahmadi as its new head of milk procurement.

Amirahmadi, previously Arla's vice president for milk and cream marketing, takes on full responsibility for milk procurement next month and will also represent Arla on the Arla Foods Milk Partnership board.

Amirahmadi will be in charge of developing a sustainable farm supply chain and fostering closer working relationships with farmers. "I am excited about working in partnership with the AFMP board and our producers, building on the work that Hanne and her team have done," he said. Søndergaard was in charge of milk procurement, as well as business strategy and communications, before moving to a role at parent company Arla amba.