Vegware confirms appointment of new MD

Helen Mathieson

EDINBURGH-based packaging company Vegware has confirmed the appointment of Helen Mathieson as its new managing director.

She succeeds the company’s founder Joe Frankel, who is stepping down after more than 15 years building Vegware into a globally recognised brand.

Helen joined Vegware in 2018 as supply chain and operations director, overseeing all aspects of products from ideation and manufacture through to logistics and client services. Prior to this, she was operations director at fashion brand Lyle and Scott. Originally from Yorkshire, she started her career in FMCG sales as an account manager at Nestlé.

Working alongside Helen, Vegware’s new leadership team comprises Lucy Frankel (environmental and communications director), Dave Smith (sales director), Oliver Elsner (commercial director), and Llinos Appleford (finance director).

Vegware directors L-R: Lucy Frankel, Dave Smith, Helen Mathieson, Oliver Elsner, Llinos Appleford

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to lead Vegware in its next phase of growth,” Helen said. “I have been lucky to spend a great four years working alongside the company’s founder Joe Frankel, and I’m proud to be taking over the reins of this global brand.

“We have a fantastic team, exceptionally strong client relationships, and a lot of exciting innovations for 2023.”

Vegware makes over 500 foodservice catering disposables made from plant-based materials, including drinks cups, takeaway food containers and cutlery.

Key product launches this year included the firm’s award-winning paper cutlery, as well as Nourish moulded fibre takeaway boxes, which are certified for home or industrial composting.

Vegware is also currently developing its offering for food retailers and manufacturers with new heat-sealable lidding solutions to fit PLA or fibre bases.

The business helps clients set up new waste streams by getting food-contaminated disposables to commercial composting. In addition to partnerships with waste collectors around the UK, Close the Loop is Vegware’s own waste composting service for businesses in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Fife, Dundee and surrounding areas.

Named in 2021 as Scotland’s fastest-growing exporter by the Sunday Times, Vegware sells to over 80 countries. The business was established in Edinburgh in 2006, and has operational bases in the USA, Australia and Hong Kong, with distribution throughout Europe, the Middle East and Caribbean.

2023 will see continued engagement with UKRI-funded research project the Compostable Coalition UK. This involves Vegware working with behaviour change experts from the University of Sheffield and Hubbub, London waste collector Recorra and in-vessel composting facility EnVar, to help diners choose the right bin for compostable packaging.