Sylvia Jay, director general of the Food and Drink Federation, which represents food manufacturers, will leave the organisation at the end of August 2005 after nearly five years in the post to take up a new appointment outside the food sector, to be announced later, the FDF said.

FDF President Gavin Neath will supervise arrangements for the open recruitment of her successor.

“Sylvia Jay has provided outstanding leadership for FDF during a period of unprecedented political and media focus on our industry,” Neath said. “During that time she has strengthened FDF organisationally and financially; built and maintained links with the rest of the food chain, and overseen a step change in the level and quality of our industry’s representation.”

“On behalf of the UK food and drink manufacturing industry I thank her and wish her well in her new challenges,” he said.

“It has been a great privilege to work with this wonderful industry at a time of enormous change,” said Sylvia Jay. “I am glad to say that FDF is well placed to face the challenges of the future.”