Waitrose appoints new fresh produce head buyer

Waitrose has unveiled Paul Walker as its new head buyer of fresh produce.

With responsibility for buying for the meat, poultry, frozen food and dairy categories as well as heading up the retailer’s agricultural strategy, Walker will be replacing Heather Jenkins, who is to retire after 37 years in the business.

Walker has already been working at the retailer for three decades, and will continue to oversee his existing areas of fruit, vegetables and horticultural produce, and buying for meal solutions, bakery and food to go.

He has described his new appointment as an “exciting” opportunity”.

 “I am excited to take on this role and, backed by a fantastic team here at Waitrose, am looking forward to working with our suppliers, farmers and others,” he said.

Speaking on Jenkins’ retirement after 37 years, commercial director of Waitrose Rupert Thomas said: “Heather has made an enormous contribution to Waitrose, building fantastic relationships with the farming community and helping us to lead the grocery sector in this area. In Paul we’ve appointed exactly the right person to develop our agricultural strategy and take it forward.”

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