Arla UK’s MD Ash Amirahmadi has been appointed the new chairman of processor industry body Dairy UK.
Amirahmadi was previously vice chair of the industry body and replaces Glanbia Cheese CEO Paul Vernon – who has stepped down after three years in the role – as chairman of Dairy UK.
Dairy UK’s membership has also elected Saputo Dairy UK’s president and COO Tom Atherton and First Milk CEO Shelagh Hancock as vice chairs, while Lactalis McLelland MD Mike Chatters as treasurer.
“It’s been my pleasure to work with such a collaborative board as we’ve navigated major issues, including most recently, Covid-19,” said Vernon on his departure.
“I’m pleased that during the past few years the focus of this industry is now back on the consumer. I am fully supportive of Ash’s chairmanship and look forward to continuing to work with him and my other colleagues on the Dairy UK board.”
Dairy UK CEO Judith Bryans added Amirahmadi’s “enthusiasm for the dairy sector is well known”, with the Arla executive having “worked tirelessly over the years to ensure that the benefits of dairy products and the dairy sector are recognised”.
Appointed the UK boss of Arla in 2018, Amirahmadi’s in-tray will include the upcoming results of a government consultation into compulsory dairy contracts, along with long-term questions over how Dairy UK and the wider dairy industry will tackle the ongoing pandemic’s effects on the sector –particularly giventhe blow of Müller’s exit from the body earlier this year.
“The industry’s response to the Covid-19 crisis has clearly demonstrated the benefits of a collaborative, science-based and consumer-focused approach and we must take the learnings from this,” he said.
“It is more important than ever that we work together as an industry to promote the nutrition and health benefits of dairy, showcase our commitment to sustainability, and ensure that Brexit works for the UK dairy sector. Most importantly we must be proud to drive our industry forward with gusto and I am looking forward to working with the Dairy UK team to do this.”