Brownes Dairy has appointed its first female chief executive officer, heralding changes at the factory gate for the iconic West Australian company.
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Brownes Dairy has appointed Natalie Sarich-Dayton as its first female CEO.

Natalie Sarich-Dayton becomes the first woman to lead the company in its 135-year history, previously serving as Brownes’ sales and marketing director.

“Brownes Dairy is a remarkable company with a thirst for product and brand innovation,” Ms Sarich-Dayton said.

“Everyone in the business genuinely believes in our mission of ‘doing dairy better, together’, and I’m excited to take the reins as chief executive officer and continue our tradition of nourishing Australian families with the best range of high-quality dairy products.”

With two decades of experience in the international food and beverage industry, Ms Sarich-Dayton was a driving force behind Brownes Dairy’s return of the iconic ‘Milkos’ home delivery service, which became a lifeline to the WA community during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

The service won national and international accolades, including a Gold trophy in the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, Social Idea of the Year in the annual Mumbrella Awards, and Best COVID Pivot by the Australian Financial Review.

Ms Sarich-Dayton’s appointment comes after long-serving chief executive officer Tony Girgis stepped down from the role after navigating the company through an ownership change and championing the return of traditional cheddar cheese to West Australian supermarkets for the first time in 14 years.

“Brownes Dairy is an iconic WA company and I have been honoured to have led a vibrant and innovative team for many years as the chief executive officer and managing director,” Mr Girgis said.

“I have greatly enjoyed working alongside Natalie, and believe she is an inspired choice as the company’s new chief executive officer who will continue to bring success to WA’s favourite dairy.”

Ms Sarich-Dayton was born and educated in the Perth Hills of WA before graduating from the University of Western Australia.

She then carved out a distinguished career in sales, marketing and management spanning more than 20 years, working for some of the world’s top international food and beverage companies in Australia and overseas, including Coca-Cola Amatil, HJ Heinz, Danone and Unilever.

In 2019 and 2020, her marketing leadership of Brownes Dairy was honoured with placings in the CMO50 list of Australia’s most innovative and effective chief marketing officers.

Ms Sarich-Dayton joins a small group of women in charge of WA’s most successful companies, including Elizabeth Gaines, the chief executive officer of Fortescue Metals Group, and Stephanie Unwin, chief executive officer of Horizon Power.

“It’s crucial WA business takes a leading role in promoting more women to leadership positions, and I’m honoured that Brownes has entrusted me with this vital role,” Ms Sarich-Dayton said.

“The pandemic has reminded us about the role we all can play in keeping our communities, including our businesses, authentically connected.”

Thirteen congressional members from New England are urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to intervene on behalf of farmers left in the lurch by Danone SA, the French food giant that owns the Horizon Organic brand.

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