Cooksey, who takes up his position on January 1, replaces Malcolm Smith who left in May to pursue other interests.
Cooksey joined Dairy Farmers of Britain in January and developed its national brand and Farmers Best range of hard cheeses.
He kicked off his career in the industry at Asda in 1983. He has also worked for Spar UK in development roles, as retail business development manager at Victoria Wine Company and as a Marks and Spencer executive at Bowyers and Eden Vale for Northern
He was also group MD of Humber VHB, formerly part of Hazelwood Foods, and MD of Melton Foods.
Cooksey said: “There are many challenges and many opportunities ahead. I am delighted to be given the chance to ensure that DFB is best placed to take advantage of these, so that we can deliver a profitable platform for growth and sustainable returns.”
Rob Knight, executive chairman, said: “Andrew brings a proven track record as well as the leadership, drive and determination to fulfil the ambitions of DFB.”