HALAL food manufacturer KQF has recruited seven new staff as part of its continuing plans for expansion.

The firm has appointed Zahir Patel as key trade account manager and Ilyas Akubat, who joins as manager of the recently acquired store in Whalley Range.

Mr Patel has previously worked for Graham & Brown and, prior to joining KQF, as a retail development executive for GlaxoSmithKline, where he worked with well-known brands such as Ribena and Lucozade.

Mr Akubat recently managed a large forecourt retail outlet that secured a national award for excellence in customer service and, working alongside KQF managing director Faruk Vali, he will now be leading the transformation of the superstore.

Other new appointments include two new reception and administration staff, Fawzia Khan and Sadya Sange; a new accounts support executive, Ammar Patel; and three new customer support staff – Iram Khan, Umar Patel and Rashida Ali – all of whom will be based at the Blackburn superstore.

Managing director Faruk Vali said: "The changes at KQF are now picking up pace.

“Consequently, we need additional staff to deal with the increasing volumes of business and a more diverse range of activities. It’s all moving in a very positive direction and I’m confident that we’re building up the right mix of skills and experience to maintain steady but controlled growth.”

Administration executive Farzana Khan has been promoted to the post of office manager and production manager Shaukat Ahmed will be supporting the expansion of the company’s contract manufacturing operations by assuming the role of key account manager for private label customers.

The firm has signed a distribution deal with BAKO North Western to supply halal foods to a raft of wholesale customers across the region.