Paul Walker, Waitrose buying director for categories including bakery and food to go, has had his remit expanded to all fresh buying.

Walker, who has been with Waitrose for 30 years, is now to lead buying for meat, poultry, fish, frozen food and dairy, and take on responsibility for agricultural strategy. While Walker is keeping his current job title of director, buying, fresh, these duties will be in addition to his existing areas of fruit, veg and horticultural produce, and buying for meal solutions, bakery and food to go.

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

The extension of his role, which is effective from 9 October, follows the retirement of Heather Jenkins after 37 years with the retailer.

“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,” said Waitrose commercial director Rupert Thomas.

“In Paul we’ve appointed exactly the right person to develop our agricultural strategy and take it forward.”