Kerrygold, the Irish-owned, UK-based dairy business, has named former Grampian County Food Group executive Sean Whitfield as sales and marketing director.

Whitfield replaces Ray Levett, who is retiring after 22 years with the company. Whitfield's former job was in Grampian's poultry division.

"Sean is coming from a tough industry, which has faced some testing times in recent years. You learn a lot from that," said Kerrygold managing director Carl Ravenhall. "He's very customer-focused and committed to supporting the team he is inheriting."

Although owned by the Irish Dairy Board, Kerrygold is based in Staffordshire in the UK. It is the largest independent dairy brand in the UK, and also distributes in excess of 60,000 tonnes of cheese from its headquarters in Leek, where construction on a new GBP30m (US$60.5m) plant is expected to be completed in early 2009.