Peter Cook is retiring as a director of Wilkin & Sons, part of the Tiptree group, after 45 years with the company.

Cook started in the cashier's office in 1962 and then moved to sales. He rose through the ranks of the sales office, where he sold jam to independents and major stores across the UK and to stockists in more than 50 countries.

He was made sales director in 1980 and became joint MD in 1986 with Peter Wilkin, until 2005. He was then responsible for expanding the Tiptree Visitors' Centre in Essex and constructing a new jam shop.

Cook will now become a non-executive director at Wilkin & Sons .