Arla's Graham Wilkinson announced as AHDB's new CEO

AHDB has announced the appointment of Graham Wilkinson as its new CEO (Photo: AHDB)
AHDB has announced the appointment of Graham Wilkinson as its new CEO (Photo: AHDB)

Arla's Graham Wilkinson has been announced as AHDB's new chief executive officer as Tim Rycroft steps down from the role in December.

Mr Wilkinson is currently global vice president of agriculture at the UK dairy cooperative, supporting over 8,500 farmer owners.

AHDB said it was 'thrilled' to welcome him to the role, calling him a 'passionate leader and strong advocate' of British food and farming.

He replaces Tim Rycroft, who leaves the levy board in December after nearly two and a half years.

During his time at Arla working in both global and UK roles, Mr Wilkinson has managed the delivery of innovative commercial milk concepts on-farm.

With his knowledge of the supply chain, he created a leading European agriculture function within Arla, spanning seven markets.

He has also worked in the retailer-side at Tesco, where he strengthened the sustainability of agriculture supply chains in its dairy, beef, pork and poultry sectors.

Having worked throughout the supply chain for his whole career, agriculture has always been part of his life, working with his grandparents and parents on the family farm in the north east of England.

Nicholas Saphir, chair of AHDB, said: "We are thrilled to welcome Graham to AHDB with his passion for farming, his impressive leadership skills and vast industry knowledge.

"We believe he is the ideal candidate to lead AHDB into the next exciting phase of our growth, putting levy payers at the heart of our work and maximising the impact of the work we do."

Reflecting on his appointment, Mr Wilkinson said: "I am excited to join AHDB, an organisation that I have a deep appreciation for and huge respect for its fantastic team.

"My passion is working with farmers, for farmers and with my experience, I see this as a great opportunity to drive greater impact and success for all levy payers to help create a world-class food and farming industry."

Mr Wilkinson is set to leave Arla in the New Year, with the exact timing to be agreed between Arla and AHDB in the coming weeks.