Movers & Shakers: Food innovation company takes on two new recruits

Celia Holt, Food Innovation

Celia Holt, Food Innovation - Credit: Archant

BURY St Edmunds-based specialist food innovation agency Food Innovation Solutions (FIS) has announced two new appointments to its team to manage significant growth within the business.

Food Innovation Solutions has seen a huge growth in new business, particularly within food retail and international clients, in recent months, as food companies put innovation at the top of the business agenda. Its portfolio includes Tesco and various own label manufacturers and clients in the Middle East.

Celia Holt joins the agency from her role as head of innovation at Two Sisters Food Group, bringing a wealth of industry knowledge from several food categories and a proven track record in developing successful innovation teams and creating and delivering powerful strategic programmes.

Will Jarvis joins the agency from his role as marketing operations manager for the El Tayer Group in the Middle East. He has significant experience in the meat industry and also in dining concepts across the UK and Dubai. Will has joined FIS to advise on international markets, work on special projects and drive new business.

Chief executive Mike Faers said: “As part of our long-term strategy to offer specialist advice on innovation to our clients, the appointment of Celia and Will allows FIS to strengthen our expertise in the Middle East and also expands our ability adequately to service our new and existing clients and I am really pleased to welcome them both to the team.”


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• UNIVERSITY Campus Suffolk (UCS) has invited Alex Till, Chief Executive of Menta, the Suffolk Enterprise Agency, to be a Visiting Fellow to the School of Business, Leadership and Enterprise at the University.

Visiting Fellows provide a range of expertise to the five Schools at UCS, contributing to research, enterprise, and teaching and learning within their specialist field, and enhancing the academic profile of the institution.

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Originally from Leicester, Alex has lived and travelled extensively in Europe. He has been based in Suffolk since 1996, and his main career focus and interest is for enterprise, business start up, SME growth and economic development.

Through his chief executive role at Menta, he helps develop entrepreneurs and encourages progression of young people. He is well-known in commercial circles for actively promoting local enterprise and driving forward growth of new, emerg-ing and existing businesses.

“It is an honour to be invited to work with the School of Business at UCS and I look forward to using my consider-able knowledge to help students become the entrepreneurs of the future,” he said.

• ASHTON Carter of the commercial team at Colchester law firm QualitySolicitors Fisher Jones Greenwood has qualified as a solicitor.

Having joined the firm in 2010 as a paralegal, Ashton’s work was rewarded with a training contract, now completed as of March this year, to become the commercial team’s latest solicitor.

Ashton said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have qualified as a solicitor and to see that the hard work and dedication to my career so far has paid off. I am now looking forward to the next stage of my career with QSFJG and to making valuable contributions to the success of the firm.”

With particular expertise in non-contentious commercial work, Ashton has worked on company and partnership work, drafting and negotiating commercial contracts and acquisitions, since he arrived at the firm. He has also worked closely with charities and is a trustee of COPE.

Senior partner Tony Fisher said: “It is fantastic to see Ashton’s progress through the firm that has now led to his qualification. It is further proof of our commitment to supporting our staff and developing their skills and careers.

“We are delighted that Ashton is staying with us now he is qualified and look forward to him continuing to prove a valuable asset who will undoubtedly continue to make his mark in the legal world.”

• STOWMARKET-based maltings firm Muntons has appointed Neil Pearmain as its sales and marketing director. He will take over all responsibilities for the marketing and sales of its extensive range of ingredients.

Neil Pearmain joined Muntons in 1987 on a management training programme and has held various roles in logistics, administration and export. He also spent seven years as Muntons Malt export sales manager, which has given him a detailed insight and a wealth of experience in sales.

He was appointed to the board in 2005 as supply chain and logistics director. He was responsible for the group’s worldwide warehousing, logistics, demand and supply planning, procurement and sales administration and has been heavily involved in the company’s activities in Asia and the USA.

Neil is a director of Muntons Ingredients Asia Pte Ltd and is chairman of Muntons Pension Trustees Ltd. He will now also be appointed to the board of the Muntons US operation.

Neil said: “I am really looking forward to taking on this new role and returning to the commercial side of the business.

“We have a great sales team who fully understand the markets in which we operate and the needs of our customers. We see this as vital for the future of our business and I am excited by the challenges ahead.”

In his younger days Neil enjoyed playing rugby and on occasions still turns out for the Stowmarket Veterans XV. He is a fanatical supporter of Harlequins and England rugby. He enjoys keeping fit through circuit training and spin and has two sons who delight in running him ragged on the squash court.

Group managing director Alan Ridealgh said: “I am confident that Neil has the necessary qualities and experience to successfully undertake this new role with his in-depth knowledge of Muntons and first-hand experience of the markets that Muntons supply, ensuring that he will continue to build on Muntons’ commercial successes.”

• TWO new key account managers have joined the growing membership services team at Anglia Farmers (AF).

Joanne Bibb and David Taylor have joined AF as key account managers, roles which will see them visiting the purchasing group’s members on farms around the UK.

Joanne, who will be based in Derbyshire, joins with some 20 years of experience working with dairy farmers. She worked as a farm liaison officer for the Midlands Co-op and later as a direct supply manager for Dairy Crest. In 2011 she moved from Dairy Crest to undertake a new role at Joseph Heler cheese.

She said: “Having worked with dairy farmers for the last 20 years, I’m delighted to have the opportunity to bring this knowledge and experience to my new role at AF. I’ve always enjoyed being out on farms, working with farmers and learning about the intricacies of the industry.

“AF is very member-driven and I’m looking forward to getting out on to farms to help members benefit from the savings they can make through AF.”

David has joined AF from Essex-based Bailey’s Horse Feed (F H Nash Limited), where he was sales director.

David – a farmer’s son – studied at Harper Adams University College and worked as a farm trader for several years, holding positions at Dalgety and Allied Grain.

He said: “Joining AF is something of a homecoming for me, as I’m a Norfolk farmer’s son, so I have a good understanding of the industry.

“I’m very much looking forward to getting out and meeting AF members and offering advice on how they can reduce their costs and improve efficiency by working closely with AF.”

• MARTLESHAM Heath-based Milner Strategic Marketing Ltd has welcomed Chloe Purcell as strategic PR manager.

She is a public relations professional with experience in the shipping, logistics and technology sectors, and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). Having previously worked for Hutchison Ports (UK) Ltd as well as smaller firms, she is experienced in both large corporation and small business processes.

Milner is a business consultancy specialising in market analysis, strategy formulation and marketing programmes for clients in the hi-tech (ICT), clean-tech (Energy Management and Renewables) and bio-tech (Bio-Medical and Healthcare) sectors.

Managing director Dr Nick Milner said: “We are pleased to welcome Chloe to the team. She joins us at a time of growth and development and her experience will be a great asset to the company.”

• THE Ipswich office of business and financial advisers Grant Thornton has welcomed three new recruits to its expanding team.

Richard Carr joins the firm as Audit manager and brings more than 25 years’ experience of working with international and domestic clients throughout East Anglia across a wide range of sectors. Most recently Richard gained industry expertise as head of finance for a Suffolk based water transportation company.

In his new role, Richard will work with a portfolio of dynamic, entrepreneurial companies and help to build Grant Thornton’s Audit practice across the region.

Holly Moorhouse also joins Grant Thornton’s audit team as an executive, having qualified and worked at the Ipswich office of PKF for six years. Holly will advise a range of companies within the firm’s expanding client base and further support the growth of the audit services Grant Thornton offers to ambitious, growing businesses.

Andrew Garnham has been recruited to the Ipswich corporate tax team as part of Grant Thornton’s graduate training programme, having studied finance, accounting and management at Nottingham University. During the three-year programme, Andrew will work towards professional accounting qualifications while receiving first- class training and on the job experience.

Practice leader James Brown said: “We are continuing to see growth opportunities across all areas of our business, as evidenced by our ongoing investment in new talent.

“I am delighted to welcome Richard, Holly and Andrew to Grant Thornton and look forward to working with each of them to assist our clients in unlocking their potential for growth.”

• SOFTWARE developer Strident Software Development has taken on its first-ever apprentice.

Brandon Moore, aged 19 and from Stoke by Clare has begun work as a software development apprentice.

Brandon will be working full time at the business’ Ipswich head office and developing his skills by working on software such as Minder and ShowBiz, packages which are supplied to clients in the charity and agricultural show sectors respectively.

Managing director Dominic Tyler-Lovett said: “Hiring an apprentice is a great way to nurture talent in the next generation, while simultaneously growing the capabilities within your own business, so we’ve been looking to take on a development apprentice for some time.

“This is still a pretty unusual area to do an apprenticeship in, but we’re confident that, with the help of our team, Brandon will develop all the skills he needs to kick-start his career as a software professional.

“We’ve been really impressed by Brandon’s positive attitude and enthusiasm, and we’re confident he’s going to make a real impact on our business.”

Brandon said: “I’m really pleased to be working in a dynamic business like Strident.

“I’ve had a warm welcome so far and I can’t wait to get started.”

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