Innocent has appointed former Tesco director Stephen Spall to head up its supply chain and help drive ongoing expansion.

Spall will be responsible for a 40-strong supply team and will oversee the company's entire supply chain "from field to shelf", working with suppliers to help Innocent deliver long-term growth across Europe.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with a company with ethics and ideals so compatible with my own," Spall told The Grocer. "It will be great to work with a team that is dedicated to sourcing responsibly with an eye on the overall impact of the supply chain on the environment."

Earlier this year Innocent announced it had secured a £32m loan from Bank of Scotland to fund continued expansion in Europe.

The company, set up in 1998 by Richard Reed, Adam Balon and Jon Wright, is now in six countries outside the UK and Ireland - France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark and Sweden. Last month it entered the Austrian market.

In each of the past three years, Innocent's turnover has doubled in size and it now stands at £115m.

"It is important to everyone that we grow in scale without losing the company's core values," said Spall. "But Innocent is such an agile company that I am confident it can grow and become even more robust and ready to meet these challenges."

Spall joins from Centrica where he was initially responsible for British Gas's cost reduction programme and more recently has led efforts to improve customer service by stabilising business processes.

Prior to that, Spall was at Tesco, where he held the position of supply chain and distribution development director.

During his time with the retailer, he designed and implemented a major upgrade of the supermarket's UK supply chain network to meet the rapid increase in volume growth and store numbers since 2000.

Spall also established a simplified import supply chain for clothing and non food hard lines to improve availability, reduce lead-times and cut operating costs at Tesco.