Applications open for new Industry Co-Chair of Food and Drink Sector Council

19 May 2022

We are inviting applications for a new Industry Co-Chair for the Food and Drink Sector Council. The FDSC brings together senior business leaders from across the agri-food chain to work with Government to improve the productivity and sustainability of the industry. The FDSC is entering a new phase of evolution and will play a key role in working with Government to deliver parts of the Government Food Strategy and identify and deliver on opportunities through wider Government policy, such as Levelling Up.

The chair will work in partnership with the Government Co-Chair, the Minister of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs at Defra and.

The Industry Co-Chair will be a senior industry figure who brings a degree of neutrality and overall expertise on the agri food supply chain. The role will be to robustly chair, challenge and lead the FDSC to inspire and create change from within the sector, look for opportunities from the wider government agenda and hold the FDSC for account on delivery.

The role has been advertised on the Cabinet Office website with a closing date of midday on Friday 10 June 2022.

Letter from Secretary of State George Eustice in response to the FDSC Covid-19 Recovery Plan

2 September 2020

The Rt Hon George Eustice, Secretary of State for Environment has written to Ian Wright and Terry Jones, industry co-chairs of the Food and Drink Sector Council in response to the FDSC: Covid- 19 Recovery Plan, published this summer. The Minister was very positive about the response of the food and drink industry to the unprecedented challenges of Covid-19 and keeping the nation fed. He expressed the governments continuing commitment to supporting the industry, and welcomed the recommendations from the report, specifically noting the reduction of VAT on food out of home, the importance of exports and foreign investment in long term recovery, and advocacy for British food and the British food industry.

Read the letter »

Food and Drink Sector Council to broaden its representation of the industry

24 February 2020

Iain Ferguson CBE, steps down as industry Co-Chair of the Food and Drink Sector Council (FDSC) on 28th February at the end of a two-year term. Iain was the inaugural Co-Chair of the FDSC in 2018 when it was established as the first industry group to represent the entire agri-food chain from farm to fork.

The FDSC is an industry-led partnership with Government which aims to increase the productivity and sustainability of the UK food and drink industry. Under Iain's Co-Chairmanship, the FDSC provided expert advice to Government during the preparations for the UK's exit from the EU. The FDSC's working groups have also developed innovative policy recommendations to Government, most recently with the publication of the Agricultural Productivity Working Group's report. The FDSC is also providing expert advice on behalf of the agri-food industry to the development of the Government's National Food Strategy.

Iain's successor as industry Co-Chair will be appointed over the coming months. This appointment will form part of a wider process to broaden the representation of the industry on the FDSC and its working groups.

Terry Jones, Director General of the National Farmers Union, and Ian Wright CBE, Chief Executive of the Food & Drink Federation, will Co-Chair the FDSC on behalf of the agri-food industry during this transition period.

Iain Ferguson said: “This is a vital period for the agri-food industry as we prepare for future trading relationships outside the European Union, and respond to the growing environmental and social pressures on the food system. Collaboration between the industry and government has never been more important.

I am delighted that the Food and Drink Sector Council has demonstrated the value of bringing the agri-food industry together to work with government. It has created the foundations on which the industry can unite and help to build the thriving, sustainable food system we all need for the future.”

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Last reviewed: 24 May 2022