The FDF’s annual President’s Reception celebrated the handover of president Jon Woods to president elect, Paul Freeston, chair and chief executive of apetito UK aand North America.

Woods has made an enormous contribution through an exciting, but difficult two years for the food and drink industry which has faced intense pressure while navigating Brexit, Covid-19 and the ongoing supply chain challenges.

The FDF has expanded its membership greatly in the last few years, with now almost 1000 members across every category of food and drink.

Jon Woods, FDF president and general manager of Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland said:

“It has been an honour to have been the president of the Food and Drink Federation over the last two years.

"The UK food and drink industry is one of the best in the world and plays a vital role in giving consumers and shoppers the choice they want, as well as making a significant contribution to the UK economy.

Although the industry has faced great uncertainty with Brexit, food and drink advertising restrictions and the Covid-19 pandemic, its resilience has shone through.

"It has been a pleasure to have worked closely with all the FDF’s members, with government and our partners to promote the industry and respond to the opportunities and challenges we face.”

Paul Freeston, chief executive of apetito and president-elect of the Food and Drink Federation:

“I’m delighted and honoured to take over the presidency of the Food and Drink Federation which commands the respect of both government and industry.

Having served on the board of the FDF for fifteen years, been treasurer and deputy president for the last two years, I know how valuable this membership is to a business and am very aware that as the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, the food industry has a vital role to play in both employment and the economic success, of the UK economy.

“I would like to pay tribute to Jon Woods, and our previous presidents, who have made a significant contribution to the profile of our industry.

"This is also a time of significant internal change for the FDF. Outgoing CEO Ian Wright leaves an enormous legacy, growing the influence and membership of the FDF.”