james millward

Source: Millward family

James Millward died on 14 April of cancer at the age of 53

Tributes have been paid to specialty dairy supplier Eurilait’s MD James Millward, who died last month.

His family told The Grocer Millward passed away peacefully at home on 14 April, aged 53, following a short battle with cancer. He leaves behind his wife Lucy and three children: Oliver, Harry and Bethany.

West Country-based Millward began his career at Yeo Valley Farms, where he spent nine years as a production manager and worked on the brand’s national accounts. He also had spells at food companies including British Bakeries, a part of Premier Foods, McCormick – where held the posts of sales director and commercial director of foodservice from 2006 to 2014 – and as COO of British Bakels from 2014 to 2015. 

While working for Eurilait, which he joined in 2016, Millward was also the vice chairman of the Provision Trade Federation from 2017 and the chair of governors for local school Whistone Academy. He was involved in various initiatives such as Working Options, through which he spoke to sixth-form students across the country to help them succeed in their chosen industry.

Millward was described by colleagues as “always empowering, stretching, learning and inspiring”. 

“Those who were fortunate to know James well or had met him at some stage in their life will know of his loving, energetic, and will-to-help character, who only wanted the best for the people around him,” his family said. “‘Try and learn something new every day’ was the quote he was well known for and was something he truly aimed to achieve over his years, always being inquisitive, and challenging himself outside of his comfort zone.

“Dad loved life. Outside of work, he was a family man who spent most of his spare time carp fishing in France with his two boys, playing golf with work colleagues and friends, and his favourite, being at home and outside in the sunshine cooking a barbecue for his close friends and family,” they said. 

“James was a tremendous leader with a great belief in developing people and building a strong culture centred around setting ambitious goals but doing so whilst enjoying work,” said Ed Leahy, finance director at Eurilait. “He always commented how he really looked forward to coming to work and interacting with people, solving problems and doing things with a great sense of humour.

“Renowned for mantras like ‘control what you can you control’, ‘what gets measured gets done’ and ‘if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got’ which have helped steer and grow Eurilait through uncertain times due to Brexit, Covid and in recent months, inflationary pressures,” Leahy added.

He told The Grocer Eurilait would continue to build on Millward’s success and secure “a great legacy for our friend and colleague”.

The funeral will take place on 17 May at 11:30 am at the Mendip Crematorium, BA5 3RR. This will be followed by a reception at 12.30pm at The Red Lion, Babcary, TA11 7ED.