Simon Chantler's role at dairy ingredients manufacturer Meadow Foods has been upgraded from chairman to executive chairman.

The management structure changed after Paul Deakin stepped down as MD. Deakin would continue as a non-executive director, said Chantler, who said the shift in roles was a mutual decision.

"We had put a divisional structure in that negated the long-term need for a full-time MD," he added.

Meadow has three divisions - fat, sugar and milk marketing - and will create a fourth - fresh milk - following its acquisition of Nene Valley Foods from Dairy Farmers of Britain last month.

The fresh milk division would supply fresh dairy-based food ingredients, such as yoghurt and fromage frais, to companies such as cake makers, added Chantler, who said he was excited by the new role.