TWO successful businessmen have joined the board of Sumo UK, the agricultural machinery manufacturer based in Melbourne, near York.

Simon Herring and James Sweeting, co-founders of Lincolnshire-based Pipers Crisps and private label coffee company Lincoln & York, have joined Shaun Wealleans, who has headed the company for 23 years.

Both have made a majority investment in Sumo and will work with Mr Wealleans, who will head the design team as technical director, to strengthen and grow the company.

He said: "We are 100 per cent committed to upholding the reputation that we have gained for our machines and service backup. We can assure both current and potential customers that this will only be strengthened by the new partnership."

Mr Herring, a farmer’s son from Walesby in Lincolnshire, will be managing director of Sumo UK. He has spent the last 10 years managing the day-to-day running of Pipers Crisps.

Mr Sweeting, also from a farming family, was brought up in Howden, East Yorkshire, and has joined Sumo as a non-executive director. He is a director of Pipers and managing director of Lincoln & York.

Mr Herring said: "James and I are delighted to have the opportunity to invest in Sumo UK. Shaun has done a sterling job over the last 23 years forging a strong business and designing a collection of cultivation equipment for farmers across the globe.

"I look forward to spending the coming months getting to know all staff, customers and suppliers and working together to build on Sumo’s success."

Mr Wealleans is confident about the future. He said: "Simon and James have a fantastic portfolio when it comes to business experience, having successfully started and developed two very high profile companies.

"The new team will combine good business practice with Sumo's innovative products, resulting in a very strong company, fit to take on the future of worldwide farming."

Pipers Crisps is one of the UK’s leading gourmet crisp brands. Founded in 2004 by Simon Herring, James Sweeting and Alex Albone, founded the company in 2004 since when it has won a number of awards, and was recently voted "Best Snack Brand" by the readers of Fine Food Digest for the third year running.

Mr Herring and Mr Sweeting founded Lincoln & York in 1994. It employs a team of 65 and sources, roasts and packs coffee from its headquarters in North Lincolnshire.

The business was named as one of the London Stock Exchange’s ‘Top 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain’ and recognised as a ‘2014 Outstanding Company’ by leading industry analysts, Plimsoll.