Former FDF CEO Ian Wright has been appointed co-chair of the government’s new Food & Beverage Export Council.
Co-Chair and Exports Minister Andrew Bowie, who took office only in October, announced the appointment, saying Wright had the qualifications to prove he would be a key player in the mandate to boost UK exports after Brexit. Stated.
Wright resigned from the FDF last year and was replaced by Karen Betts in December.
Former Diageo Corporate Relations Director, Wright took over FDF from former director Melanie Leach in 2015, building a reputation as the industry’s prolific and sometimes belligerent frontman.
He was a key voice during the pandemic and a prominent Brexit critic, but now has the important task of forging new trade ties.
The government has announced a new council to promote British products abroad in 2021. The Commission is designed to work collaboratively across the UK, working with industry and government to increase agricultural, food and beverage exports.
After a tumultuous post-Brexit period during the pandemic, the latest FDF figures show that UK food exports to the EU increased by almost a fifth in the third quarter of 2022 compared to the same period last year. was shown.
Exports to EU and non-EU markets have “increased significantly” from the previous year, with sales to the EU approaching pre-pandemic levels.
“Our food and beverage sector is vital to exports and the UK economy,” Bowie said. “I am delighted to announce that Ian Wright has been appointed Co-Chair.
“By working together, we look forward to helping the Council boost UK food and beverage exports.”
“The food and beverage sector is a key driver of the UK economy,” said Mr Wright. “This is critical to UK export performance. Industry, government and devolved administrations working together in the Council will make a real contribution to promoting UK food and beverage exports.”