Vita Food Products has announced that Terry Hess has retired from his position as chief executive officer of Vita Specialty Foods.

He will continue to serve as vice chairman of the company's board, and will also remain at the company during the transition period.

Vita Food Products president and CEO Cliff Bolen said: "I have known Terry since the acquisition of Virginia Honey five years ago and have greatly valued our working relationship and respect him as a business partner and a committed family man.

"On behalf of the entire company, I wish to acknowledge our deep appreciation for the significant contributions that Terry has made in operating both Virginia Honey Company and our Vita Specialty Foods division."

Hess became CEO of the company in November 2002, when Virginia Honey merged into Vita Specialty Foods, which markets and sells honey, salad dressings, meat enhancements and salsas.

"It has been a privilege to work with such an outstanding staff and I wish them and the company continued success. I am looking forward to the next chapter in my life in building a Family Fun Centre with my wife Julie and our four children," he added.