Dicksons, which has a head office in South Tyneside, has given John Cowen of Chester-le-Street the responsibility of identifying new business opportunities for the company in the foodservice sector.
Cowen has previously worked with Heineken, Coca Cola and other major food and drink names and said his aim was to now concentrate his efforts on growing accounts at the key wholesale level.
"One of my particular objectives is to expand the Dicksons brand beyond the borders of the north east to help ensure regional favourites find an audience with customers in all corners of the UK," he said. "The appetite for Dicksons’ range of quality, heritage products is strong, which stems from a loyal customer base grown over six decades. I hope to build on this to develop new routes-to-market, which increasingly bring Dicksons’ products to the table of new and existing customers."
The company, which was established in the 1950s as a stand-alone pork butcher, employs more than 200 members of staff across 22 retail shops and a production facility. This year it is celebrating its 60th year of business in the region.
Managing director of the company Michael Dickson said: "We are entering into an important phase for Dicksons as we look at ways to expand our presence in the wholesale markets and identify new revenue streams. John has the right balance of ambition and experience to really bring something of value to our business model. It’s an exciting and challenging time and we look forward to working with John further to develop the Dicksons offering to new customers and markets."