Improve, the sector skills council for food and drink, has appointed four new board members.
They are Stefan Barden, chief executive of Northern Foods; Simon Jackson, executive director of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling; Professor Chris Griffith, head of food research at the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff; and Iain MacLean, national officer responsible for food, drink and tobacco within Unite - the union (Amicus section).
Their appointments are part of a re-shuffle of Improve’s board, which has seen the departure of a number of members who had reached the end of their three-year term of office.
Paul Wilkinson, chairman of Improve, said: “I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Stefan, Chris, Simon, and Iain. Improve’s board continues to go from strength to strength and the diverse backgrounds of our newest members highlight the broad mix of disciplines that are represented. It’s a real boost to have such distinguished figures from different sectors within food and drink manufacturing committed to driving forward the skills agenda.”
Barden was appointed chief executive of Northern Foods in February of this year, having spent a year as executive director of the chilled division, where he successfully turned around the underperforming business. With 20 years’ experience in food manufacturing, he has also held senior positions with Unilever, Iceland Frozen Foods and Heinz.
Jackson is an experienced business leader who is highly-respected within the brewing and distilling industry. Prior to his appointment as executive director of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling, he spent more than 15 years working for Scottish & Newcastle, most recently as UK manufacturing director.
Iain MacLean is a leading trade unionist in Britain’s food industry, with 35 years’ active involvement in the trades union movement. He is an executive member of the European union of food, agricultural and hotel workers, and is a UK representative on the management committee of the International Union of Foodworkers.
Professor Chris Griffith is one of the country’s foremost authorities on food hygiene and safety, and is well-renowned in both the manufacturing and academic worlds. With more than 30 years’ teaching experience, he has written and developed a number of food safety related degrees and industry training courses. He has more than 20 years’ consultancy experience, advising companies and organisations in all aspects of food quality and safety.