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Michael Barker

BY MICHAEL BARKER

@michaelbarker

Monday 15th February 2021, 09:31 London

New chairman for Puffin Produce

Former Starbucks, Mothercare, Boots and M&S man Rhys Iley joins Welsh fresh produce leader

New chairman for Puffin Produce

Rhys Iley

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Puffin Produce has appointed Rhys Iley as its new chairman.

Iley brings extensive experience from senior leadership roles across the retail sector with a career including leading the retail operations of Starbucks across 41 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to that he held senior positions in both Boots and M&S, and was most recently global commercial director at Mothercare.

Huw Thomas, managing director at Puffin Produce, said: “Puffin Produce is a business that is ambitious to grow in partnership with our farmer suppliers throughout Wales. Over the past ten years we have recruited an industry-leading team to support our growth and working with Rhys will be another significant piece in that jigsaw.

“Together with my fellow directors, Jon Langmead and Mark Harrod, we are confident that Rhys is the right person to help our board lead and monitor our ambitious growth plans. It is very clear to us that Rhys shares our values and understands our Welsh heritage and these two elements are very important to us and the way we work. We are therefore really looking forward to Rhys joining us and benefitting from his broad consumer-focused experience and knowledge.”

Iley has a keen interest in farming and Welsh rural affairs, and when not looking after his 20 sheep on his smallholding just outside Brecon and supporting his wife who is a vet in a local practice, he pointed out that he "loves to cook using the finest Welsh ingredients, like Blas y Tir potatoes and leeks."

Of his new role, Iley said: “These are exciting times for Puffin Produce and Welsh agriculture. I have been very impressed with the business that Huw, Jon and Mark have created here in Pembrokeshire, supported by a passionate team of growers and farmers that ensure their customers get great-quality Welsh produce. I am delighted to join the board to support them and their growth aspirations.”

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