A fantastic opportunity for a senior International Trade professional to lead the successful development and delivery of the FDF’s trade and investment strategy.

Job Type        Permanent

Location        Central London (Bloomsbury)

Salary             £65k+ depending on experience, with excellent benefits including 25 days holiday, private healthcare, leisure travel insurance, gym subsidy, interest-free season ticket loan and cycle-to-work scheme

Hours             35 hours per week; hybrid working option

We are looking for a Head of International Trade to join the FDF on a permanent basis. This is a high profile position covering a key policy area for our members with significant political and Parliamentary interest.

This role focuses on securing the best outcomes for members and raising the economic profile of the UK food and drink industry. Our industry has recently achieved record export figures but there are still huge opportunities to improve trade flows.

The successful candidate will lead a high performing policy team, working with FDF members to understand their priorities, formulate policy positions and influence policy makers in the UK and Devolved Governments, Parliament and Brussels.

The Head of International Trade will be building networks and partnerships across industry and policy makers, ongoing monitoring of policy developments and reacting to issues that impact FDF members across the trade and growth agenda.

Key responsibilities

  • Trade policy – successfully deliver the FDF’s trade and investment strategy, seeking opportunities to improve the implementation of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, drive a joined-up government approach to trade in food and drink that recognises the strategic importance of imports, shape the successful development of the UK’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) and secure the benefits of the UK’s independent trade policy for FDF members.
  • Supply chain – lead industry’s response to developments impacting supply chain relations, the competitive position of members and preventing unfair trading practices.
  • Manage a high performing team – managing the workflow and output of the Trade team and overseeing the production of economic analysis that supports trade policy priorities.
  • Lead the FDF’s response to regulatory and policy developments in international trade and supply chain issues that affect UK food and drink manufacturers, ensuring members and colleagues are kept informed by leading the provision of quality briefings, the FDF’s weekly trade newsletter and news articles.
  • Lead the formulation of FDF policy through effective member consultation. Communicate FDF policy internally and externally. Build and maintain links with key stakeholders and inform decision-makers in the UK (officials, Ministers and parliamentarians) the Embassy network in London and partner trade associations.
  • Represent FDF members on national (DBT Agrifood and Drink Trade Advisory Group) and European (FoodDrinkEurope) forums. Where required, acting as the FDF’s spokesperson on international trade in responding to media enquiries and representing the FDF at Parliamentary inquiries and other high profile events.


  • Proven professional experience in UK and EU public affairs and/or policy development gained in a corporate, political, trade association, consultancy environment or government department.
  • Ability to build constructive and effective relationships with industry bodies and policy makers to amplify messaging and achieve outcomes.
  • Excellent awareness of the domestic and international political context, and a firm grasp of key public policy issues affecting the food and drink manufacturing sector particularly in relation to international trade and supply chain issues.
  • Strong leadership skills, with a proven track record of setting policy direction, leading high performing teams and delivering positive outcomes.
  • Excellent communicator with proven ability to write influential documents, command authority in committees and political discussions, and communicate effectively to diverse audiences.
  • Ability to learn quickly and think strategically across changing priorities and expanding subject fields.
  • Highly motivated team player with a hands-on attitude, ability to lead and develop creative and evidence-based approaches to policy issues, industry positions and their communication.
  • Proven experience in planning and project management. Ability to multi-task, respond flexibly to needs of business and FDF members, and self-organise work effectively on different projects and issues.

How to apply

Birchwood Knight are conducting the recruitment on behalf of FDF for this role, if you are interested please apply by sending your CV to smoore@birchwoodknight.com


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About the FDF

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the convenor, adviser and voice of the UK food & drink industry, the largest manufacturing sector in the country.

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Our benefits

The FDF is a great place to work where we take wellbeing seriously and have a great benefits package to match.