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Cranswick Chairman Tim Smith appointed Industry Chair of Food and Drink Sector Council

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2 min read
AUTHOR: Molly Long
headshot of Tim Smith wearing a black blazer and tie and white collared shirt

Tim Smith, the Chairman of British food company Cranswick, has been appointed as the new Industry Chair of the Food and Drink Sector Council.

The Food and Drink Sector Council is a formal partnership between industry and Government. It is tasked with addressing challenges faced by the sector.

Two representatives steer the work of the council – one from industry and one from Government. Smith will share the chair with Food Minister Victoria Prentis.

Among their responsibilities during their two-year tenure, the chairs of the council will be charged with delivering some of the measures set out in the Government Food Strategy, which was published in June.

The food and drink sector is facing challenges which are unprecedented in my time,” said Smith. “It is imperative that industry and the Government continue to work in partnership to ensure we have a food system fit for the future.

“The Food and Drink Sector Council must help provide the strategic oversight to create that system and I’m delighted to take on the role of industry co-chair. I look forward to working with the Ministerial co-chair to identify the key issues facing the sector and to find practical actions to address them.”

Smith has had high-profile roles within the food and drink industry for much of his career. He has held CEO positions with Northern Foods, Sara Lee, Express Dairies and Arla Foods.

In 2008, Tim Smith was appointed as Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency. Following this, he worked as Group Quality Director at Tesco.

As well as his current role at Cranswick, Smith has been a Non-Executive Director at Pret A Manger since 2019. He also sits on the Boards of the University of Leeds and the charity Farm Africa.  

On the appointment of Tim Smith, Food Minister Victoria Prentis said: “Tim brings an unrivalled experience of the food and drink sector from his time across a number of different organisations and a fantastic enthusiasm to drive forward the council’s agenda of meeting the challenges currently faced by the industry at large.

“I want to thank out-going co-chairs Ian Wright and Terry Jones for their expert direction – taking the council through the difficulties of the Covid pandemic and our ongoing recovery.”


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