Managing Director, Arla Foods UK
Ash Amirahmadi is a highly regarded leader in the UK food and farming sector, whose career at Arla Foods has been focused on growing revenues by meeting consumers’ needs for nutritious, affordable and more sustainable dairy products, thereby delivering financial stability and returns for the company’s farmer owners.
He has been the Managing Director of Arla Foods UK since July 2018 having joined the company more than 15 years ago.
Ash began his career at Unilever after graduating from the University of Nottingham with a Mechanical Engineering degree. He held a number of positions in supply chain and commercial functions before being recruited into Arla’s UK business in 2004.
After further success in commercial roles, Ash joined the Arla Leadership Team in 2010, assuming responsibility for Arla’s relationships with its farmer owners. In 2012 he oversaw Arla’s transformative merger with the Milk Link cooperative. He later moved on to briefly hold the position of Marketing Director before becoming Sales Director in 2016 with responsibility for growing Arla’s business with UK customers.
During his tenure as Sales Director Ash oversaw a 120-strong commercial team with delivered sales growth of £200 million and a 9% uplift in the company’s branded sales. Since he became Managing Director two years ago Arla Foods UK has continued to grow and now has revenues in excess of £2 billion in this country, making the cooperative Britain’s leading dairy company.
Ash is the newly-elected Chair of the board of Dairy UK. He also serves on the UK Government’s Food Resilience Forum set up in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Arla Foods is a dairy cooperative owned by approximately 9,900 farmers across several European countries. Around 2,300 of its owners are in the UK, representing between a quarter and a third of all British dairy farmers. The cooperative employs more than 3,800 people at 10 sites across England and Scotland, and is a leading supplier of fresh milk, butter, spreads and cream, as well as the country’s largest cheese manufacturer. Its much-loved brands include Lurpak, Cravendale and Anchor butter, as well as Lactofree, Skyr and Arla Protein.
With his background encompassing sales and commercial roles as well as managing relationships with Arla’s farmer owners, Ash is passionate about building a future food and farming system that has high environmental and wider standards and at the same time is financially successful for farmers because it delivers the healthy, affordable, high welfare and sustainable products demanded by consumers.
Innovation & Insights: The impact of BREXIT on the global food system