Silver Fern Farms has promoted Dan Boulton to CEO of the New Zealand meat cooperative to replace Simon Limmer.

Boulton, who has held the position of chief supply chain officer at the meat processor for the past six years, will take up the CEO role in February.

Limmer’s departure was announced in September after heading up the Dunedin-based business for five years. He is leaving to join the Indevin Group, New Zealand’s largest wine producer and exporter, with brands such as Villa Maria and Thornbury.

Prior to joining Silver Fern Farms, Boulton served in various executive roles at Auckland-based seafood supplier Sealord Group. He also has management experience in horticulture and forestry.

In a statement announcing Boulton’s appointment, Silver Fern Farms credited Limmer for “pioneering sustainability efforts across its co-operative farms and 14 processing plants”.

Silver Fern Farms said the co-op is New Zealand’s largest grass-fed lamb, beef and venison producer served by 16,000 farmers. It exports to more than 60 countries, including the US.

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By GlobalData

Last year, the company launched its ‘net carbon zero by nature Angus’ beef range in the US, where it is stocked by 1,600 stores nationwide and online at Costco.

“Our net carbon zero by nature products are entirely aligned with consumer demand for sustainable products that offer taste and nutrition,” Boulton said.

No comment was provided by Limmer. However, in September’s statement, he said: “I feel that now’s the time for an injection of new energy and perspective into the business.

“I’m conscious that global market conditions have created some immediate challenges. However, these will pass and I’m confident in our strategy and ability to see these challenges through and continue creating new forms of value for our shareholders.”

The co-op is jointly owned – on a 50-50 basis – by its farmer shareholders and China meat processor Shanghai Maling Aquarius. The latter is part of the Shanghai-based food and beverages group Bright Food.

Silver Ferns Farms said its most recent annual revenue amounted to NZ$2.7bn ($1.6bn), without providing a comparison or profit figures.