Northern Foods has announced that peter Blackburn will retire as chairman from the Board at the company’s agm in July 2005 and will be succeeded by Tony Hobson, deputy chairman.

Blackburn commented: “I have decided that the time is right for me to stand down as we are now at the start of a three-year plan to realise the benefits of our recent strategic review. During my time as chairman the company has had significant change and made good progress in restructuring an refocusing the business to realise its full potential.”

Hobson commented: “I am delighted to take on the appointment as chairman of northern Foods and I look forward to working with Pat O’Driscoll and her team.”