Seaboard Foods, the US pork processor, has named sales-and-marketing chief Chad Groves as its new CEO.

Groves, the company’s senior vice president of global sales, marketing and innovation, succeeds Peter Brown, who will step down in June after three years at the helm.

“Peter was a key leader on Seaboard’s executive management team and we wish him all the best in his upcoming retirement,” Bob Steer, the president and CEO of parent company Seaboard Corporation, said in a statement.

Groves also joined Seaboard Foods in 2021. Before taking the SVP role at the company, Groves was VP of sales into retail and foodservice at US drinks group Trilliant Food & Nutrition.

Brown had joined the business from US turkey processor Butterball, where he was COO. His career includes a stint at seafood processor High Liner Foods and 20 years at Cargill.

Seaboard Foods is a vertically integrated pork producer that sells products to further processors, foodservice operators, distributors and grocery stores.

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The company, which has a pork-processing plant in Oklahoma, sells in the US, as well as export markets including Mexico, China and Japan.

Earlier this month, Seaboard Foods opened its first overseas sales office, setting up a direct presence in Japan.

The new Japanese office, named Seaboard Foods of Japan, will focus on “building relationships with local customers, understanding the unique needs of the Japanese market and ensuring the delivery of high-quality pork products that meet those needs”, a statement read.

A bilateral trade agreement between the US and Japan came into force in 2020. According to data from the US Department of Agriculture, the US is the largest exporter of pork to Japan, with Canada in second. Japan produces around half the pork it consumes, the USDA says.

Seaboard Corp. also has a 50% investment in Seaboard Triumph Foods, which operates a pork processing plant in Iowa.

The corporation’s pork interests also take in a 50% investment in US business Daily’s Premium Meats, which produces and markets raw and pre-cooked bacon using pork bellies primarily sourced from Seaboard, Triumph and Seaboard Triumph Foods.