THE chairman of the Apetito Group, whose UK business is based in Trowbridge, has been awarded one of the most prestigious distinctions the Federal Republic of Germany can bestow on an individual.

Wolfgang Düsterberg was given the Cross of Merit, of the Order of Merit, in recognition of his 41 years of service to the family business.

Mr Düsterberg took over as chief executive in 1982 from his father Karl and he was instrumental in bringing the company to the UK in 1991 and acquiring Waldens Wiltshire Foods Ltd in 1995.

Now 26 years on, he continues to involve himself in Apetito UK; recently overseeing the approval of a £31 million investment in the Trowbridge production facility and serving as Apetito UK Chairman for more than 20 years.

"I am delighted to be receiving this award not only for myself but the 3,000 team members I represent. I am very proud of how Apetito has developed into an international organisation, making a real difference to peoples’ lives," he said.

"Our recent investment in Trowbridge demonstrates how our business is continuing to grow and the commitment to strengthening the UK business for the next 25 years.

"I would like to thank everyone who has been a part of the Apetito family for making this award possible.”