Pioneering, natural food company Wessanen has named its new UK CEO, as the business looks to strengthen its UK brand portfolio with an increased focus on sustainability and nature.
Emma Vass joins Wessanen UK with over 20 years’ experience in the FMCG sector, most recently as UK General Manager of herbs and spices business McCormick’s. Prior to this, Emma served as UK Commercial Director for Danone Dairy, as well as previous spells with Premier Foods and Mars.
In her new role, Emma will be primarily focused on driving growth across Wessanen’s four UK brands – Whole Earth, Kallo, Clipper Teas and Mrs Crimble’s – while increasing market share and awareness in the core sectors each brand operates in.
"Wessanen’s clarity of vision and passion for its products and people shines through in all that the company does. The authenticity of the brands here in the UK truly resonates with today’s consumers who are looking for honest, natural brands they can connect with. I am excited to join this dynamic and pioneering business at this key time and to have the opportunity to facilitate further growth and innovation."
The new senior appointment comes as Wessanen unveils its new corporate vision – Connecting to Nature – which looks to re-establish and strengthen the link between food and the natural world.
Striving to be a ‘new kind of food company’, Wessanen will be working to a set of commitments and targets to further improve its environmental outputs, increase the health credentials of its products, build on its ethical supply chain and introduce more diversity and agility into the way the company operates.
Emma will be working closely with the group’s team in the Netherlands to implement the new guidelines across the UK.
“We believe the industrialisation of food has broken a vital link between humans and the food we eat. So rather than to hope that more complex science will fix the problem, we believe the answer lies in connecting to nature. We have set out a clear roadmap for the business and agreed clear commitments up to 2025 with this in mind.
“We have created a strong portfolio of leading natural and organic brands focused on core categories in the UK. We are pleased that Emma has joined us to further accelerate the development of our business and help even more British consumers to make healthier and more sustainable food choices.”
Wessanen recently released its financial results for 2017 which pointed to a significant and sustainable growth in revenue. Autonomous growth across its portfolio was also reported with many brands increasing in double digits last year.
Emma Vass’ appointment follows on from Gill Green, Wessanen UK’s marketing director, serving as the interim UK CEO after the departure of Patrick Cairns in early 2017. Green will continue to work closely alongside Vass in her role as UK marketing director for Wessanen and the firm’s brands.
About Wessanen UK – www.wessanenuk.com
Wessanen UK is a natural and organic food company, with pioneering brands in expanding market segments: Clipper Teas produces a wide range of hot drinks including the #1 organic and white tea brands, and the first Fairtrade-accredited tea; Kallo makes market-leading, organic rice cakes, as well as other savoury snacks, stocks, gravies and cereals; Whole Earth, best known for its peanut butter, manufactures organic spreads, cereals and drinks; Mrs Crimble’s makes joyfully, wholesome and deliciously gluten-free macaroons, cakes, biscuits and nibbles, for all to enjoy, and Almond Breeze, the increasingly popular, healthy milk alternative.
Wessanen UK employs around 130 people in Camberley and Beaminster. Wessanen UK is CarbonNeutral certified and, either directly or through its subsidiaries, accredited by or a member of a range of industry bodies and associations including; the Fairtrade Foundation; the Soil Association; the UK Tea & Infusions Association, and the Organic Trade Board.