The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has announced that apetito’s Paul Freeston is the new president elect following Jon Woods’ tenure.

Freeston was a founder member of the Malnutrition Taskforce and is a former president of the British Frozen Food Federation. He has led apetito, which supplies meals to the health and social care sector, for 22 years.

“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,” he said.

“Having served on the Board of the FDF for 15 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.”

Jon Woods, who is general manager of Coca-Cola Great Britain and Ireland, said it had been an honour to serve as president for the last two years. He commented: “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.”