The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has appointed Ian Wright as director general to lead the organisation which represents the largest manufacturing sector in the UK.
Wright, who was Corporate Relations Director with major drinks company Diageo, will join the Federation before Easter.
He succeeds Melanie Leech who left the organisation just before Christmas to join the British Property Federation. Jim Moseley, a former President of the Federation who has been acting as Director General since Leech’s departure, will continue in the role until after Wright is installed.
President of the FDF, Dame Fiona Kendrick welcomed the appointment, saying: “Ian has huge experience in the food and drinks industry and is ideally qualified to champion the sector during a period of extraordinary change.
“Ian’s role will be to ensure that Government and stakeholders understand the importance of food and drink manufacturing, and support our industry to meet the changing needs of UK consumers in the future.
“Jim Moseley has injected real passion and commitment into the role. We are grateful that he has agreed to stay with FDF until the end of the month to ensure a seamless transition.”
Ian Wright has spent more than two decades in senior management positions with two of the UK’s most important businesses Diageo and Boots The Chemists. For 14 years he was corporate relations director of Diageo. He was a member of the executive committee and responsible for representing the company to governments, NGOs and the media around the world.
He has also worked for other food businesses including Pillsbury, Burger King and Mars Confectionery. His career also includes spells in consultancy and politics. He is also a non-executive director of Mass1, a member of the advisory board of The Work Crowd and a trustee of both The WAVE Trust and Children on the Edge. Ian Wright, 56, is married with two children and lives in Rutland and London.
Commenting on his appointment, Mr Wright said: “The food and drink industry is a national asset of which everyone in the UK should be justly proud. It is responsible for 400,000 jobs and with a £80 billion contribution to the economy the industry is critical to the UK. It’s a privilege to be asked to lead its representative body and to be its advocate in the important challenges to come.”
FDF, based in Catherine Street, London, alongside its Scottish arm in Melville Street, Edinburgh, employs 65 people. It has about 300 members including some of the largest food manufacturers in the world.