Vion UK boss Ton Christiaanse is stepping down after three years as chief executive, the company has announced.

He will be replaced by Maarten Kusters, currently director of operations for Vion in the Netherlands.

In a statement, the company said: “Ton Christiaanse, a member of Vion NV’s executive board, was appointed CEO of Vion Food UK after the acquisition of the Grampian Country Food Group in 2008.

“The integration and restructuring of Vion Food UK was successfully implemented under his leadership. This now obviates the dual role of CEO Vion Food UK and member of the executive board of Vion NV. Ton has therefore decided to leave Vion.”

Christiaanse will remain with the business until the middle of the year. Until then he will “actively support” the company on various achieving strategic projects, Vio said, ensuring “the optimum transfer of his responsibilities”.

Peter Barr, the former chairman of the British Meat & Livestock Commission, will continue to act as Vion UK’s non-executive chairman.