Innovative British food company, The Meatless Farm Co, has today appointed Jesper Højer as its new chair, one of a series of hires to help grow the plant-based meat alternatives business globally.

His appointment comes as The Meatless Farm Co has started strengthening its management team to build the group and brand globally. Lone Thomsen joined as chief marketing officer from Coca-Cola in September and earlier this month the company appointed Dr Peter Hynes, who has a background at Unilever, Smith & Nephew and Taylors of Harrogate, as head of research and development.

Jesper was until earlier this year global CEO of Lidl and spent 16 years at the fast-growing German supermarket giant. He says: “I have been following the market for meat alternatives for some time and The Meatless Farm Co has a great opportunity to be one of the global leaders in this fast-developing food sector. I am impressed by the quality of both the products and the team, and aim to help build The Meatless Farm Co into an international business.”

Morten Toft Bech, Founder of The Meatless Farm Co says: “Bringing someone with the global experience of Jesper on board is a marker not only of what we have achieved so far, but also the potential of The Meatless Farm Co over the next few years. The world is waking up to the need to reduce red meat in our diets, and we are ready to feed the growing demand for plant-based alternatives.”

Headquartered in Leeds, The Meatless Farm Co only started producing its products in 2018 and is now sold in Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and the JD Wetherspoon pub chain among others across the UK, as well as in Wholefoods Markets stores in the US, Dolan Foods in Canada and other international markets.

The Meatless Farm Co spent over two years blending, researching, experimenting and trialling different recipes and ingredients to create its range, which also includes sausages and mince. Now it has become a serious contender in the global plant-based market, alongside US groups Impossible Foods and Beyond Burger. It was recently recognised by the industry for its innovation, being awarded best emerging business at the Food and Drink Federation awards.