Management Team

Ichiro (Hiro) Nishikura

Chief Executive Officer Hiro joined Mizkan Euro in 2022, bringing with him more than 30 years’ experience within multi-national Japanese Food businesses. He worked for Ajinomoto and Kameda Seika, where he started his career in Sales, then went on and gained experience in Marketing, SCM, New Business Development, Project Management and Corporate Planning. Hiro has worked in Japan, Germany, and Belgium as well as leading international businesses in Asia-Pacific, EMEA, US and Brazil.

Hiro’s strong philosophy and focus at Mizkan is to deeply understand the operating environment through GEMBA activities (seeing things with your own eyes), to face the facts and to embrace challenges to achieve Mizkan’s Future Vision. A cornerstone of this philosophy is to drive growth through offering customers and consumers in the UK and EU only the finest products.

Hiro’s Mizkan Meal
Ramen and Gyoza (Japanese Dumplings) with Mizkan Yuzu Ponzu.

Tsutomu (Tom) Shibuki

Chief Financial Officer Tom joined Mizkan Euro in 2021. His career at Mizkan Group started in 1995 as a Sales Representative for three years before moving to HR. He has since gained over 20 years of experience in Human Resources and Corporate Planning. In 2013, he took charge of the Global HR team including M&A in US where he worked on the company’s priorities. In 2016 he moved to London, Mizkan Euro and then to Chicago, Mizkan America. Tom strives to ensure Mizkan is a great place for Mizkan team members to work so that they can offer customers our finest products.

Tom’s Mizkan Meal
Hand-rolled sushi with Mizkan pure rice vinegar, Toasted ham & cheddar sandwich with Branston Small Chunk.

Gavin Johnston

Finance Director Gavin joined Mizkan Euro in 2014. He spent the formative years of his career at Ernst & Young, where he qualified as a chartered accountant. His subsequent moves spanned a range of industries, with roles at multinational blue-chip media, consumer goods, and high-tech organisations. Building on his audit background, Gavin gained excellent experience running finance operations, shared services, systems implementation, change management, M&A, and restructuring projects. Gavin is passionate about continuously improving Mizkan Euro’s processes to reduce costs and enhance profitability.

Gavin’s Mizkan Meal
Extra mature cheddar sandwich on crunchy wholemeal bread with Branston Original.

Simon Lock

Operations Director Simon joined Mizkan Euro in the Summer of 2021, bringing with him 25 years’ experience within FMCG Food Operations, Supply Chain & LEAN manufacturing. Simon’s career began as a Distribution Trainee with Bryant and May Ltd, this was followed by a decade with Nestle Rowntree within Production, Planning & Project Management. He then turned his focus on operational improvement as Manufacturing Specialist for the DTI, supporting SMEs, before returning to confectionery and biscuits with Fox’s for 10 years and later to Site General Manager of their flagship factory in West Yorkshire. Simon gained multi-site experience with ABF, heading up 11 sites across the UK.

Simon brings to Mizkan a style that is both creative and collaborative, focussed on delivering sustainable, long-term improvement both with and through his teams.

Simon’s Mizkan Meal
Quality Fish & Chips seasoned with a generous splashing of Sarson’s Malt Vinegar

Alison Robertson

Quality & Technical Director Alison joined Mizkan Euro in 2018. She has over 25 years of experience in the food industry in technical and product development, including own-label. She has travelled the world working on major projects for retailers such as Tesco. She later set up her own consultancy company and helped food manufacturers solve problems to meet retail standards. Before joining Mizkan, she spent 12 years with Hain Daniels as Group Technical Director across three divisions: chilled, frozen, and grocery. Alison strives to ensure all consumers have a great experience with Mizkan foods.

Alison’s Mizkan Meal
Sarson’s Pickle In 15 with vegetables and marinade.

Vanni Cataldi

Marketing Director Marketing Director Vanni joined Mizkan Euro in 2019 with over 15 years of experience in international marketing in FMCG. His career started at Unilever, Italy in the EMEA Household care team, then he moved to the UK where he spent most of his career working on the Savoury portfolio (Colman’s, Marmite and Knorr).
During his tenure at Unilever, he strengthened the equity of the brands and delivered consistent topline growth.

Vanni’s focus is to drive the growth agenda by looking after Mizkan’s core British brands, growing our Japanese division and by innovating our portfolio in line with the principles of the Mizkan vision statement. He is passionate about putting Mizkan marketing and our brands at the heart of the consumer insights.

Vanni’s Mizkan Meal
Avocado salad seasoned with Mizkan Shiraghiku

Mark Shelmerdine

Supply Chain & Procurement Director Mark joined Mizkan Euro in 2020 as Head of Supply Chain with over 20 years of experience in Global Supply Chain. His career began in Black & Decker where his journey started in Supply Chain. Since then, he has worked across the world for a variety of companies and industries, in both Operations and Planning before finally returning to the UK with Mizkan. His depth of Supply Chain knowledge has been instrumental in bringing real benefit and insight to ME’s Supply Chain progression. His impact has been so successful that Mark was promoted to the Supply Chain & Procurement Director at the beginning of 2023.

Mark’s Mizkan Meal
Sausage & Chips with Sarsons Malt Vinegar

Tracey Brown

Sales Director Tracey joined Mizkan Euro in 2023. She has spent over 25 years in the food industry leading Sales & Category teams across both UK and EMEA. Her career began at Unilever as a graduate trainee in their Frozen Food division, moving to the Danone water business, and latterly into Jordans Dorset Ryvita, part of Associated British Foods. Tracey’s experience spans Grocery Retail in UK & Europe, Distributor Management, new market entry & category management. Tracey is passionate about bringing the customer lens into the business to help shoppers & consumers experience the great Mizkan products.

Tracey’s Mizkan Meal
Cheese & Biscuits, with a selection of our Branston Chutneys & Piccalilli