Natalie Sarich-Dayton becomes first female CEO of Australia’s oldest dairy company

AUSTRALIA- Brownes Dairy, Australia’s oldest and most iconic dairy company, has promoted Natalie Sarich-Dayton to the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective immediately. 

Sarich-Dayton who untill her promotion was the company’s chief sales and marketing officer, becomes the company’s first female leader in its 135-year history. 

She succeeds Tony Girgis who had headed the company for 14 years. His time as CEO saw Brownes Dairy change ownership and bring back traditional cheddar cheese to West Australian supermarkets. 

Through his leadership, Browne’s vintage and mature cheddar range have now  become generally available throughout WA and nationally in IGA supermarkets. 

Brownes used to make cheese since the 1930s to help soak up the extra milk its suppliers’ dairy cows naturally produce during spring post calving and sustained by fresh pastures. 

It however cut back because it became uneconomic to cut up and wrap the 20 kilogram “bricks” that cheese is made in. 

The dairy could also not compete on retail markets with much larger volume producers in the Eastern States and NZ untill Sarich-Dayton arrived.  

Sarich-Dayton comes to the role with over 20 years’ experience in the food and beverage industry, including brand and management roles with Coca-Cola, Danone, HJ Heinz and Unilever across the UK and Australia. 

Her history with Brownes dates back to 2013 when she joined as a Marketing Director. 

During her time with the dairy business, she’s is credited for a number of driven innovations such as the ‘Milkos’ home delivery service during COVID-19 lockdowns. 

She also oversaw the launching the world’s first top-down yoghurt bottle, upped the ante on corporate social responsibility, and helped with sustainability initiatives among many other achievements. 

Commenting on her appointment, Sarich-Dayton said: “I’m excited to take the reins as CEO and continue our tradition of nourishing Australian families with the best range of high-quality dairy products.” 

For his part, Girgis said he has enjoyed working with Sarich-Dayton during his years and CEO and managing director. 

“I believe she is an inspired choice as the company’s new CEO who will continue to bring success to WA’s favourite dairy,” he added. 

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