Chester-based business Meadow Foods have announced that Raj Tugnait will become its new Chief Executive.

Current CEO, Mark Chantler will be moving onto the board as a non-executive director and significant shareholder when Mr Tugnait officially takes up the post in early May.

Meadow Foods are the UK's largest independent dairy. They employ more than 450 people, with their head offices in Chester and three further sites in Peterborough, Holme-on-Spalding Moor and Dolgellau. They process more than 550 million litres of milk each year, manufacturing dairy ingredients for some of the world's best known food manufacturers and food service operators.

Mr Tugnait has more than three decades of senior experience in the food sector, most recently as CEO of Sysco Specialty Group, a division of one of the largest food businesses in the world.

Mr. Tugnait said: "I would like to congratulate Mark and Simon Chantler for building a successful business and Exponent for the opportunity. The company has excellent fundamentals and a plan for growth accompanied by a strong and aligned team focussed on innovation, quality, sustainability and continuous improvement and I look forward to taking over from Mark in May."

Mark Chantler said that he felt "immensely privileged" to have led Meadow Foods from a family dairy business to a market leader.

"Meadow Foods is stronger, more diverse and more financially secure than ever before and we feel now is the time for an experienced and entrepreneurial operator to lead us through this next phase of growth. I look forward to working with Exponent, Raj and the executive team going forward."