Irwin Simon, president and chief executive of natural and organic foods producer Hain Celestial Group has been appointed to the the New York State Council on Food Policy by Governor Eliot Spitzer.

The New York State Council on Food Policy, which was set up in May 2007 and is chaired by New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker, includes representatives from all areas of the food industry.

The Council has been set up to help establish new food policies for the state, making recommendations to the Governor on state regulations, legislation and budget proposals in the area of food policy, with the aim of ensuring "a coordinated and comprehensive inter-agency approach to state food policy issues".

Simon will serve as a representative of the food industry engaged in the organic foods market. Hain is based in Melville New York.

Governor Eliot Spitzer said the members of the Council will "bring new and diverse expertise to this important policy area".

"I am honoured to serve as a member of the New York State Council on Food Policy," Simon said. "As a company based in New York with expanding operations in the state, I see a tremendous opportunity to provide New Yorkers and others with local and affordable natural and organic products to benefit consumers, the environment and the State of New York economically."