Role details

Industry Co-Chair of the Food and Drink Export Council

Application deadline 10 August 2022


Sponsor department
Department for International Trade
Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Audit and Risk, Business, Commercial, International Experience
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
Length of term
2 years
Application deadline
11:59pm on 10 August 2022

Apply for this role

Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    20 July 2022

  2. Application deadline

    11:59pm on 10 August 2022

  3. Sifting date

    19 August 2022

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    29 August 2022

These dates are indicative and may be subject to change

Person specification

Essential criteria

1. Experience across key sub-sectors such as: drinks, meat and diary, processed foods, plant-based, organic, healthy, sustainability. 
2. Recognise dynamic leader within sector.
3. Track record and/or experience of actively growing exports or supporting others to grow exports, with tangible results.
4. Contribute to the Council's ability as a whole to equitably represent business from all parts of the UK. 

Desirable criteria

1. Experience being innovative in delivery of exporting.
2. Has worked in a business with diverse ownership and/or business model.
3. Experience and knowledge of animal welfare and/or sustainability issues.

Role description


In October 2021, the government announced the intention to establish a new Food and Drink Export Council (Export Council) to promote British goods overseas. The Export Council will use a collaborative approach. It will harness expertise and resource from government and industry across the UK in a collective endeavour to increase agriculture, food and drink exports.

The Export Council will comprise of strong representation from government, industry, and regionally across different parts of the UK. This will ensure the council delivers for all parts of the UK and all scales of business. The membership will be diverse and dynamic with an onus on innovation, raising ambition, building capability and effective collaboration.

It will comprise of:

  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), Department for International Trade (DIT) representatives
  • Devolved Administrations
  • industry bodies 
  • a selection of dynamic and innovative businesses including Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) 

DIT is calling for applications in order to appoint an industry co-chair who has the expertise and interest in driving forward agriculture, food and drink exports.


Role description

Individuals will be selected on the basis that they will provide a breadth of knowledge and experience related to the work of the Export Council.

Individuals will need to demonstrate how they are a strong, dynamic leader who can reinforce the principles in the Terms of Reference (TOR). They will need to build a cohesive Council, maintain momentum, working equitably across sub-sectors, and hold members to account in collectively owning and delivering tangible outcomes.

Organisation description

Operation of the Export Council
Meetings of the Export Council will be convened by the Minister for Exports and the industry co-chair. The Council shall act at the request of the Minister for Exports and agree to be bound collectively by its Terms of Reference (TOR) as a condition for joining.
The Council shall meet upon DIT’s invitation on government premises or virtually. DIT shall provide secretariat services. The Council will meet at least on a quarterly basis. The Council will run for an initial 2-year term, with periodic reviews to ensure it delivers in line with its TOR. The location will be flexible.

Application and selection process

How to apply

Selection procedure

All expressions of interest will be considered and assessed against the criteria by policy experts and ministers representing DIT. Panel member names will be published upon confirmation.

Panel interviews with applicants will be held week commencing 22 August 2022, with announcements planned for September 2022.

In appointing members of the Council, the Minister for Exports shall aim at ensuring, as far as possible, a high level of expertise. A balanced representation of relevant areas and interests will also be considered. Appointments will additionally take into account the specific tasks of the Council, the type of expertise required, as well as the relevance of the applications received.

To facilitate an open and constructive discussion at Council meetings, members will be expected to conform to the highest standards of confidentiality and will be required to sign TOR as a pre-condition for joining the Council.

All applications will be acknowledged by email after the closing date.

You should note that DIT will only provide feedback to those applicants invited to interview. 

This post is NOT regulated by The Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Overview of the application process

To apply complete the:

·                   expression of interest form

·                   candidate organisation and conflict of interest form

·                   diversity monitoring form

·                   disability confident form

You must then submit the completed forms and your CV to
The Advisory Assessment Panel reserves the right to only consider applications that contain all the elements listed above, and that arrive before the published deadline for applications. 

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Advisory Assessment Panels (AAP) are chosen to assist them decision-making in the appointments process. They include a departmental official and an independent member. For competitions recruiting non-executive members of a board (apart from the Chair), the panel will usually include a representative from the public body concerned.
AAP’s perform a number of functions, including agreeing an assessment strategy with ministers, undertaking sifting, carrying out interviews in line with the advertised criteria and deciding objectively who meets the published selection criteria for the role before recommending to ministers which candidates they find appointable. It is then for the minister to decide who to appoint to the role.
AAP members are as follows: 
  • Rachel Gwyon - Director for Scotland and Agriculture, Food and Drink (Panel Chair) 
  • Kalada Bruce-Jaja  - Deputy Director, Market Access Strategy and EU, Department for International Trade 
  • Independent Panel Member - TO BE CONFIRMED

Eligibility criteria

Most people can apply for a public appointment. We actively encourage applicants who can bring new talent and fresh perspectives to the services we all care about. Whatever your interests, background and experience there is an opportunity for you to get involved.
You can be a public appointee alongside your job, as long as you have the time to do both roles. 
In general, you should have the right to work in the UK to be eligible to apply for a public appointment. 
There are a small number of specialist roles, that are not open to non-British citizens. Any nationality requirements will be specified in the vacancy details. 
The Governments expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. 
You cannot be considered for a public appointment if: 
  • you are disqualified from acting as a company director (under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986); 
  • have an unspent conviction on your criminal record;
  • your estate has been sequestrated in Scotland or you enter into a debt arrangement under Part 1 of the Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Act 2002 (asp 17) as the debtor or have, under Scots law, granted a trust deed for creditors. 
When you apply, you should declare if: 
  • you are, or have been, bankrupt of you have made an arrangement with a creditor at any point, including the dates of this. 
  • you are subject to a current police investigation. 
You must inform the sponsor department, if during the application process, your circumstances change in respect of any of the above points. 
When you apply you should also declare any relevant interests, highlighting any that you think may call into question your ability to properly discharge the responsibilities of the role you are applying. You should also declare any other matters which may mean you may not be able to meet the requirements of the Code of Conduct of Board Members (see Outside interests and reputational issues section below). 
If you need further advice, please contact

Security clearance

The successful candidate will be required to undertake Baseline Personnel Security Standard checks in line with the Civil Service guidelines. Additional Security Clearance may also be required for certain roles. However, where this applies, candidates will be notified during the appointment process. Further information on National Security Vetting can be found on the website here.

Additional information for candidates

Equality and diversity

Her Majesty’s Government embraces and values diversity in all forms. DIT welcomes and prides itself on the positive impact diversity has on the work we do, and we promote equality of opportunity throughout the organisation. We therefore encourage applications from the widest range of qualified groups.

We encourage all applicants to complete the diversity monitoring form as part of their application. Diversity monitoring forms will not be used as part of the application assessment. Details will be anonymised and used in aggregated format to assess our performance against DIT’s diversity and inclusion objectives.

Disability confident

DIT is committed to providing equality of opportunity for all candidates during the selection process, so that appointments are selected from the widest pool of talent available. 

We are signed up to the Disability Confident scheme and as part of that commitment we guarantee an interview to any candidate who fulfils both of the following requirements:

  • has disclosed a disability as defined under the Equality Act 2010 (see definition below)
  •  meets the essential criteria for the post(s) in question, as set out in the role advertisement

The Equality Act 2010 defines a person as disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities.

If you wish to apply under the Disability Confident scheme, please complete the disability confident form and return it with your application.

Reasonable adjustments

Government departments are committed to making reasonable adjustments to make sure applicants with disabilities, physical or mental health conditions, or other needs are not substantially disadvantaged when applying for public appointments. This can include changing the recruitment process to enable people who wish to apply to do so.
Some examples of common changes are:
  • ensuring that application forms are available in different or accessible formats;
  • making adaptations to interview locations;
  • allowing candidates to present their skills and experience in a different way;
  • giving detailed information on the selection / interview process in advance to allow candidates time to prepare themselves;
  • allowing support workers, for example sign language interpreters;
  • making provision for support animals to attend.
When you apply you will have the opportunity to request reasonable adjustments to the application process.

Principles of public life

Holders of public office are expected to adhere to and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life 
SELFLESSNESS - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family or their friends. 
INTEGRITY - Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might seek to influence them in the performance of their official duties.
OBJECTIVITY - In carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
ACCOUNTABIILITY - Holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
OPENNESS - Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
HONESTY - Holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and to take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest. 
LEADERSHIP - Holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example.

Code of conduct for board members

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. In support of this, all non-executive board members of UK public bodies must abide by the principles set out in the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies. The Code sets out the standards expected from those who serve on the boards of UK public bodies and will form part of your terms and conditions of appointment.

Management of outside interests and consideration of reputational issues

It is a requirement of the appointments process that we ask interested applicants to declare the below activity as part of our due diligence.

These comprise:

  • declaration of conflicts of interest or perceived conflicts of interest; previous conduct which could bring the reputation of the department into disrepute; political activity
  • requests for references

As such, please complete and return the attached candidate declaration form as part of your application. Please note that we will also carry out searches of candidates’ financial probity, public statements, and publicly available social media profiles.

You should note that political activity detailed in this form will be provided separately to the panel and may, if appropriate, be discussed with you during your interview.

Status of appointment

You will not become a member of the Civil Service. You will not be subject to the provisions of employment law.

Appointment and tenure of office

Appointments are for the term set out in this advert, with the possibility of re-appointment for a further term, at the discretion of Ministers.  Any re-appointment is subject to satisfactory annual appraisals of performance during the first term in the post. If re-appointed, the total time served in post will not exceed more than two terms or serve in any one post for more than ten years

Pension and redundancy

This is an office holder appointment and does not attract any benefits under any Civil Service Pension Scheme. You will not be eligible for redundancy pay as you are not an employee. No other arrangements have been made for compensation upon termination because an office holder who is appointed for a limited duration would have no expectation of serving beyond that period.

Application feedback

We will notify you of the status of your application. We regret that we are only able to offer detailed feedback to candidates who have been unsuccessful at the interview stage.

How to complain

We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy.
Please contact the DIT Public Appointments Team in the first instance if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application at They will acknowledge your complaint upon receipt and respond within 15 working days.

Data protection

The Cabinet Office will use your data in line with our privacy policy.
You can also view the Department for International Trade's Public Appointments privacy notice

Contact details

Catherine Rooney, Senior Stakeholder Manager, Food and Drink Team, 
Department for International Trade