Cranswick chief executive Bernard Hoggarth is stepping down on 1 August after 34 years with the meat supplier.

He will be replaced in the top role by chief operating officer Adam Couch.

Hoggarth joined Cranswick in 1978 and was appointed CEO in 2004. The company said he had planned for some time to reduce his input in the business to allow him to focus on other interests but would be staying with Cranswick part-time as commercial director.

“I am extremely proud of what Cranswick has achieved over the past three decades,” Hoggarth said. “I have had the good fortune to work with a great team of dedicated and innovative colleagues, whose commitment, vision and teamwork have made the business what it is today.

Of Couch, he said: “I hand over to a colleague of many years. I admire Adam’s energy and ambition for the business and am sure Cranswick will continue to prosper under his stewardship.”

Couch has been with Cranswick for 20 years and was made COO last year as part of the Cranswick board’s succession strategy.

Chairman Martin Davey added: “On behalf of all at Cranswick, I thank Bernard for his contribution as CEO, look forward to his continued involvement in the business and wish Adam every success as Cranswick continues its progress.”