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Food and Drink Sector Council

In January 2018, the Food and Drink Sector Council was established to act for the entire food chain, covering farming, manufacturing, retail, hospitality and logistics. The Sector Council is a formal industry partnership with Government created to improve the productivity and sustainability of the UK food and drink industry. The members of the Council are senior industry individuals with wide experience from across the food chain.

Members of the Food and Drink Sector Council

Judith Batchelar, Director, Sainsbury's
Minette Batters, President, NFU
Gavin Darby
Lord Deben, Chairman, Sancroft
Iain Ferguson, Chairman, Stobart Group Ltd. (Co-chairs the Council alongside DEFRA senior official)
Leendert den Hollander, President, The Institute of Grocery Distribution; Vice-President & GM Great Britain, Coca-Cola
Ursula Lidbetter, Chair, Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
Graham Hutcheon, Managing Director, Edrington; Chairman, CBI Scotland
Sir Peter Kendall, Chairman, AHDB
Dame Fiona Kendrick
Andy Richardson, Head of Corporate Affairs, Volac
Cassandra Stavrou, Founder, Propercorn
Nick Varney, CEO, Merlin Entertainments
George Weston, CEO ABF
Nick Whelan, Group Chief Executive, Dale Farm
Jo Whitfield, CEO, Co-Op Food
Ian Wright, Chief Executive, Food and Drink Federation

Following its first meeting, the Council identified seven priority workstreams, each of which will be led by one of the Council members:

Priority Workstream Convenor Lead Anchor Organisation
Agricultural Productivity Sir Peter Kendall Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board
Workforce and Skills Dame Fiona Kendrick Food and Drink Federation
Nutrition Gavin Darby British Nutrition Foundation
Exports Graham Hutcheon Food and Drink Federation
Innovation Judith Batchelar Cross Industry
Logistics Iain Ferguson Cranfield University
Packaging Leendert den Hollander Waste & Resources Action Programme

FDF is actively supporting the work of Food and Drink Sector Council and acting as the anchor organisation for the Workforce and Skills priority workstream, led by Dame Fiona Kendrick. For more information, please contact

Building on its Industrial Strategy Green Paper response and the creation of the Sector Council, FDF has been working on detailed Sector Deal proposals which we hope will transform the sector's future potential and ensure the UK continues to be a home for leading food and drink manufacturers.

Food and Drink Sector Council Workforce and Skills