FDF’s Board of Directors is responsible to our members for the proper oversight of FDF’s management and its operations. This includes overseeing our finance, governance and people issues, as well as general oversight of FDF’s policy and issue-focussed work, ensuring this is in the interests of all our members. FDF’s Board is chaired by our President. FDF’s President changes every two years and is rotated among member companies.

Gerald Mason (President)
Senior Vice President, Tate & Lyle Sugars

A member of the board since 2020, Gerald also chaired the International Trade Committee and FDF was delighted to welcome Gerald as our President in November 2023.

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David Amos (Treasurer)
Managing Director, Zeelandia UK

David joined the Board in 2022 as Treasurer, bringing a wealth of industry experience, as prior to his role as Managing Director at Zeelandia, David was Managing Director of EDME Ltd for 21 years during which time he was member a of ABIM.

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Sarah Arrowsmith
Chief Executive, Allied Bakeries

A Graduate in Agricultural Economics from Newcastle Upon Tyne, Sarah started her career in Rank Hovis as a grain buyer. She has worked for a number of food businesses in  sales and marketing  roles across the UK, US, Europe and Australia. She has been with ABF for 23 years, running a number of businesses including Silver Spoon, Ryvita, Allied Bakeries and TipTop in Australia before becoming CEO of UK Grocery Group in 2010. 

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Karen Betts OBE
Chief Executive

Karen joined FDF in December 2021. Prior to this, she was the Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association for four years, representing the Scotch Whisky sector in the UK and export markets worldwide. 

Before joining the SWA, Karen was a diplomat in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for 16 years, where she held a variety of posts in London and overseas, including as British Ambassador to Morocco and Counsellor to the British Embassy in Washington.  She was also posted to the UK's Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels and to the British Embassy in Baghdad.

In London, Karen served in the Cabinet Office and for the Joint Intelligence Committee, as well as in several roles in the Foreign Office. Before joining Government, Karen was a lawyer at Clifford Chance, working in London and Hong Kong. Karen is an Adviser to the UK Government’s Board of Trade.

Personal Assistant: Kay Relph

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Simon Cripps (Chairman of the Associations Advisory Group)

Executive Chairman of the Seasoning & Spice, Food & Drink Federation Board Member & Board member of the European Spice Association  

CEO, TCI International Ltd 

Mr. Simon Cripps is the owner and CEO of the Food Ingredients business TCI International Limited. 

He has over 25 years of experience in food ingredients business specifically in spices and herbs. Currently he is Executive Chairman of the Seasoning and Spice Association in the UK, Board member of the European Spice Association representing the UK & Ireland (& former President & Vice President), Director of the Food and Drink Federation Board, Chairman of the Associations Advisory Group and concurrently President & Director of BCFoods Europe BV. Formerly a Board Member of the American Spice Association. 

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Sally Abbott
Managing Director, The Weetabix Food Company 

Sally Abbott is the Managing Director of The Weetabix Food Company. Weetabix is the second largest cereal manufacturer in the UK and the Weetabix brand is Britain’s biggest breakfast cereal. Weetabix also owns Lacka Foods, which sells the UK’s number one Protein drink brand, UFIT.  

She is responsible for all operations, including manufacturing, procurement, marketing and sales across both branded and private label products and leads the company agenda on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) and Diversity and Inclusion. 

Sally joined Weetabix in 2008 as Group Marketing Director while the company was owned by Lion Capital. She was part of the management team during the following period of joint- ownership by Shanghai-based Bright Food Group and Barings PE Asia. During this time, she helped lead Weetabix to a market share of 16.9 percent, the highest in the company’s 90-year history. Sally stepped into the Managing Director role in July 2017 when Post Holdings acquired the company. 

Sally began her career as a graduate with Unilever before joining Kraft Foods, where she worked across all food categories in the UK and International markets. At Kraft Foods she won two President’s awards and a Global Media Award. She is an alumni of the Marketing Society’s Leaders’ Programme. 

Sally has an Honours degree in Modern Languages from Sheffield University. 

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David Murray
Managing Director, UK & Ireland, pladis 

David Murray joined the Board of FDF in February 2022 and was appointed Chair of FDF’s Diet & Health Committee in March 2022.  David is Managing Director, UK & Ireland at pladis, a category leader in sweet and savoury biscuits. pladis is the parent company for iconic UK brands including McVities, Jacobs and Carr. David leads 3,600 people in the UK across multiple manufacturing and office locations. 

David joined pladis in 2019, following 26 years with PepsiCo in a number of senior commercial, business transformation and operational roles.  

David has lived and worked in Ireland and the UK. He has an MBA from the Open University in the UK and a BA in Business Studies from the Southern Technology University in Ireland. 

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Holly Smedley
CFO & Director of Corporate Services

Holly joined the FDF in 2013 following a 5 year career break. Prior to this, she held roles firstly as a full time Financial Controller and subsequently, following return from maternity leave, as part time Capital Manager with Genworth Financial. Before joining Genworth Financial, Holly held several different and varied roles within ExxonMobil’s finance and audit departments during her 8 years with them where she also gained her Chartered Management Accountancy qualification.

Holly’s roles as CFO, Board Director and member of the leadership team mean she is focused on ensuring that organisational goals are supported through sound financial, risk and governance structures. She works alongside colleagues on strategic planning, evaluation and business development initiatives. Holly is one of FDF’s founding mental health champions and the FDF’s first Mental health fist aider.

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Louise Stigant (People Board Member)
SVP & Managing Director, UK, Mondelez International

As Managing Director of the UK business at Mondel─ôz International Louise Stigant leads a team of 4,000 people across the UK. 

Louise started her career on Waitrose’s graduate scheme and spent five years with the leading retailer before joining Kraft. At Kraft she held roles in account management and category development for coffee and chocolate. She’s held a number of leadership positions throughout her career, including Managing Director of Mondel─ôz Ireland. More recently she was Managing Director of the meals category for Northern Europe. 

A key focus for Louise is celebrating Mondelez’ heritage in the UK and adding value for the future. This includes making sure colleagues are more skilled than before, growing iconic brands such as Cadbury, Maynards Bassetts, Belvita and Trebor, sharing our growth with customers and delivering new innovative products that meet the changing lives of consumers.  

Louise is a Trustee of the Cadbury Foundation and GroceryAid.  

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Dusan Stojankic
Vice President and General Manager of Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland

Dusan Stojankic has worked with The Coca-Cola System for 19 years and most recently held the position of Vice President, Franchise Leadership for Southeast Europe. Dusan has previously lived in Athens, Belgrade, and Moscow; and he speaks English, Greek and Serbian.

Dusan is responsible for leading Coca-Cola's long-term growth and success in Great Britain & Ireland, overseeing a range of more than 80 products across 20 brands including Coca-Cola Zero Sugar, Diet Coke, Fanta and Schweppes. His position will see him continue the expansion of Coca-Cola's low- and no-sugar range in Great Britain & Ireland, whilst prioritising the company’s ongoing progress towards sustainable packaging innovation and carbon and water targets in line with its World Without Waste ambition.

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Richard Watson 
Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé UK and Ireland 

Richard Watson has been CEO of Nestlé UK and Ireland since March 2023. He is a member of both the Board of the Food and Drink Federation and its President’s Committee.  

Richard is a keen champion of growing the UK’s food and drink manufacturing sector and also uses his leadership to support the transition towards a more sustainable and healthier food system. Richard represents the sector as a member of the UK Government’s Food & Drink Sector Council, having been appointed in May 2023, and also provides input from the agrifood sector as a member of the Net Zero Council. 

Richard has over three decades’ experience of management and leadership positions in food manufacturing and FMCG. He has worked for Nestlé since 1996, holding various senior positions across its group of businesses and food categories in the UK and in Europe. 

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