Andy Pembroke takes the reins at Sysco-owned UK fresh produce foodservice supplier Fresh Direct 

Andy Pembroke, Fresh Direct managing director

Andy Pembroke, Fresh Direct managing director

Sysco GB has appointed Andy Pembroke as the new managing director of Fresh Direct, the UK’s leading fresh produce foodservice wholesaler.

Pembroke has been with Fresh Direct for more than 10 years, having previously held senior roles in supply chain and manufacturing and most recently as Fresh Direct’s sales director.

Pembroke replaces outgoing managing director Andy Farnworth, with whom he reportedly worked closely on the transition plan.

Since becoming sales director, Pembroke has been credited with creating a more focused, customer-first proposition, helping customers to navigate the challenges of the pandemic, Brexit and cost-of-living crisis.

At the same time, he helped bring together Sysco’s fresh businesses – Wild Harvest, M&J Seafood and Fresh Direct, allowing customers to consolidate their deliveries and save time and money, the group revealed in a statement.

Pembroke said: “Sysco’s fresh businesses have adapted brilliantly through the pandemic and are now leading the way through the new challenges that the foodservice sector is facing. Whether it’s staff shortages, menu simplification or cost control, we’ve been identifying the products and services that make a real difference to customers while delivering excellent levels of service.

“Fresh Direct is made up of passionate and knowledgeable individuals who are central to our plans to continue innovating our fresh offering to our customers. Moving forward, we will look to continue that journey, focusing on the customer at every stage in the supply chain, working with selected partnership suppliers who support us to deliver quality, fresh products from Britain and beyond. And leveraging the scale of Sysco GB infrastructure to offer our customers a unique fresh proposition.”

Commenting on Pembroke’s appointment, Peter Jackson, CEO of Sysco GB, said: “Our fresh business is one of the key pillars to Sysco’s future growth and success in this country and having Andy at the helm of Fresh Direct is the perfect fit to lead the company in the next stage of its development.

”Fresh produce, meat and fish are integral to our customers’ menus and Andy has a very clear vision for how we can add value to that process. Throughout the recruitment process we have been impressed by Andy’s strategy for developing the business, which will ensure that the customer is at the very heart of our thinking from farm through to the kitchen.”

US-headquartered Sysco is a global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments and other customers who prepare meals away from home.

Its family of products also includes equipment and supplies for the foodservice and hospitality industries.

With more than 71,000 colleagues, the company operates 333 distribution facilities worldwide and serves approximately 700,000 customer locations.

For fiscal year 2022 that ended July 2, 2022, the company generated sales of more than $68 billion.

In the UK, Sysco operates some of Britain’s most well-known and respected foodservice businesses, such as Brakes (delivering fresh and frozen food to foodservice customers nationwide), KFF and Medina Foodservice, both regional suppliers.

Sysco GB’s fresh businesses are led by Fresh Direct, which is the leading specialist supplier of locally and globally sourced fresh produce and dairy products.

Sysco GB has 8,000 colleagues servicing more than 20,000 customers from 30 distribution centres across the UK.