Dr Colette Backwell has been appointed as the new Director of the Scottish Food and Drink Federation (SFDF).

Dr Backwell is a respected scientist with expertise in food, nutrition, farming and animal health. She has worked at a senior level with the Scottish Government and Defra and latterly Aberdeenshire Council. Dr Backwell will take up her post on 3 September 2012 at the SFDF’s Edinburgh office.

Dr Backwell said: “The food and drink manufacturing industry is Scotland’s biggest manufacturing sector, also adding value to the economy through innovation and direct support of other industries such as tourism and agriculture. With over twenty years’ experience of working in food production and nutrition, I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to return to an industry in which I passionately believe. I look forward to working with our diverse membership from multinational companies to smaller, independently owned businesses.” 

The Scottish Food and Drink Federation (SFDF) is an independent, industry funded organisation, and is a devolved division of the UK industry body the Food and Drink Federation (FDF).

FDF Director General Melanie Leech said: “I am delighted to welcome Colette to FDF’s top team.  I look forward to working with her to continue to deliver an excellent service to our members and the industry in Scotland.”  

Food and drink is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK with a turnover of £76.2 billion per year and contributing £20.9 billion in Gross Value Added. A key focus of SFDF’s work is on the competitiveness of the industry in Scotland and improving the legal and socio-economic environment in which its members operate. It has secured Scottish Government funding for work on product reformulation and for a co-ordinator who manages the successful Future in Food schools and careers initiative that will help to secure a pipeline of well qualified and highly trained scientists and engineers to take the industry forward.