The American Council for Food Safety and Quality (ACFSQ) has named its president and CEO.

The California-based body, which advises companies on food safety, has appointed Merle Jacobs to the role. Jacobs, who will take the role on 2 July, spent 20 years at the California Almond Board.

ACFSQ chairman George Sousa, Sr. said Jacobs' experience would help the council's meet the "myriad global challenges" facing the dried fruit and nut industry.

"We believe that Merle's expertise at managing food safety and quality issues from growing through processing is key to the American Council's newly initiated strategic direction," Sousa said.

"Our board has targeted several key initiatives including innovative lab services, new commodity inspections and increased capacity for third-party inspection certifications for sanitation and food safety."

Jacobs succeeds Richard Novy who will retire after 28 years in the dried fruit and nut industry.