Gavin Neath, chairman of Unilever UK, has been elected president of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), which represents the UK food and drink manufacturing industry.

Neath, whose term of office will start on 1 January 2005, joined Unilever in 1977 and was appointed UK chairman in July 2004. He has also held various posts for Unilever in France and South Africa as well as the UK. In 1999 he became chairman of Van den Bergh Foods, which merged with Bestfoods UK in 2001 to become Unilever Bestfoods UK.
“Britain’s food and drink producers – along with the whole food chain – face many challenges at the moment and FDF has a key role in helping us address these,” Neath said.

“Food and drink, as a social, economic and even political issue, will continue to have a high profile over the coming years, in particular as we work through the implications of the recent White Paper on Public Health. Our industry is committed to working constructively with government in the creation of workable nutrition and health policies and FDF will play a leading role in doing this,” he added.