The government has appointed Nicholas Saphir as the new chairman of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) with effect from 1 April.
Mr Saphir will take over the three-year role with AHDB from Sir Peter Kendall who completes his second term in office at the end of March.
He has a background in agriculture and horticulture, having built a public company farming, processing and trading fruit and vegetables in the UK and around the world.
His dairy experience includes spending the last 18 years building the Organic Milk Producers' Cooperative (Omsco) into becoming the world’s second largest dedicated organic milk cooperative.
He also has a record of chairing industry and government bodies in the sector, including being the chairman of the Central Council for Agricultural and Horticultural Cooperation and founder chairman of Food from Britain.
Defra farming minister Victoria Prentis applauded Mr Saphir on his appointment: “Nicholas Saphir has a wealth of experience in the food and farming industry, with a diverse understanding of marketing and trade across a variety of sectors.
“I am confident he will provide the AHDB with strong leadership, clear vision and enthusiasm as the sector enters a time of change.
“I’d also like to thank Peter Kendall for his dedication to the AHDB, and the sector as a whole, over the past six years.”
Mr Saphir will receive a non-pensionable remuneration of £55,000 per annum, based on a minimum time commitment of 104 days per year. Reasonable travel expenses are also paid.
The appointment is ministerial, made by the Secretary of State for Defra, which has been approved by ministers in the Scottish government, Welsh government and Northern Ireland Executive.