The Food and Drink Federation (FDF), the voice of the UK food and drink manufacturing industry, has today appointed Sylvia Jay as Director General. She will take up the post on 1 January 2001.

A former senior civil servant, Sylvia Jay has held several key positions within the Overseas Development Administration (now DFID), and was seconded for a time to the French Treasury. She has experience of a number of international organisations, including the European Union and was Political Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. She is married to Sir Michael Jay, the British Ambassador in Paris.

Federation President Peter Blackburn, said:

"FDF plays a vital role in representing the interests of the industry and in contributing to the safe and successful development of the UK's food supply chain. Sylvia Jay joins the organisation at an important time both for the industry and for the Federation.

"Her experience in economic and regulatory affairs, and her knowledge of UK and EU Government make her uniquely qualified to represent the industry at a time of great change. She is exactly the right person to take the Food and Drink Federation into the future."

Sylvia Jay said:

"I am proud to have been chosen to represent the interests of our food and drink manufacturers at such a challenging time. I am convinced that the industry is vital for Britain and I look forward to working with all those who have a stake in its success."

Mr Blackburn paid tribute to current Director General Michael Mackenzie:

"Over the last fourteen very successful years, Michael Mackenzie has helped to shape FDF into a highly effective and very well regarded organisation. During this period of enormous change and development, he has played an invaluable role on behalf of the food and drink manufacturing industry.

"He is highly respected both internationally and throughout the entire food chain. I thank him on behalf of the entire industry for the enormous contribution he has made."

Background notes

1. The Food and Drink Federation is the voice of the UK food and drink manufacturing industry. It promotes the industry's common interests; provides advice and assistance on the regulatory, technical or legislative environment and represents the industry to UK and EU legislators and other audiences.