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Role details

Member of the Food and Drink Sector Council

Application deadline 27 March 2023


The Food and Drink Sector Council
Sponsor department
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Environment, Agriculture & Fishing
Business, Change Management, Commercial, Transformation
Number of vacancies
Time commitment
1 day(s) per month
Length of term
2 years, with the option to renew once.
Application deadline
Midday on 27 March 2023

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Timeline for this appointment

  1. Opening date

    13 March 2023

  2. Application deadline

    Midday on 27 March 2023

  3. Sifting date

    10 April 2023

  4. Interviews expected to end on

    20 April 2023

Timeline dates are only an estimate and can change

About the role


The Food and Drink Sector Council (FDSC) is the only forum which brings senior leaders representing the whole of the agri food chain together to address strategic issues facing the sector and seize opportunities. It provides a mechanism for industry and government to work together to deliver shared objectives, as well as strengthening partnership working and collaboration.  

The Council is co-chaired by industry and Government – Tim J Smith CBE for industry, with the Minister of State for Food, Mark Spencer, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). 

The Council is entering a new phase of evolution and is working on new priorities to deliver in partnership with Government. The Co-Chairs want to add new voices to the Council, increase business representation and fill gaps by appointing new members to the following seats: 

  • Agriculture 
  • Consumers 
  • Finance / banking (investment in the sector) 
  • 2 x Food and Drink Manufacturing 
  • Primary Processing 
  • Public sector food  
  • Retail

Person specification

Essential criteria

Leadership and strategic direction 

  • A strategic and creative thinker, with the ability to represent their sector, and contribute advice and challenge in full and frank discussion, to deliver tangible outcomes, solve strategic issues and seize opportunities within a complex and fragmented sector. 
  • Respected leader with knowledge and experience of the agri food supply chain at senior leadership level (comparable to Chief Executive Officer or Board).  

Effective relationships and collaboration  

  • A collaborative style able to command the confidence of the Co-Chairs, fellow Council members, workstream members, senior Government officials and wider industry. 
  • Ability to build productive and collaborative relationships within a complex and fragmented industry and with Government in pursuit of the work and purpose of the Council. 

Driving change 

  • Influential leadership and change management skills to drive change within the sector through the Council.
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to inspire change.

Application and selection process

How to apply

All candidates are required to complete the following forms: 

  • Monitoring form 1 (Conflicts of interest conduct and advertising Questionnaire) 

  • Monitoring form 2 (Diversity Questionnaire) 

Candidates should submit their CV with education, professional qualifications and employment history. 

Your CV should be returned to the following address by the closing date: 12.00 (midday) on Monday 27 March. Email to

For further information please email: 

Advisory Assessment Panel (AAP)

Tim J Smith CBE - Industry Co-Chair of the Food and Drink Sector Council - Representative of Organisation 
Clare Whittaker - Secretariat to the Food and Drink Sector Council - Departmental Official 

Additional information for candidates

Disability confident

We are a member of the Government’s Disability Confident scheme. We use the Disability Confident scheme symbol, along with other like-minded employers, to show our commitment to good practice in employing people with a disability. When you apply you will have the opportunity to select if you would like your application considered under this scheme.

Principles of public life

Holders of public office are expected to adhere to and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life. These are:
  1. Selflessness - Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.
  2. Integrity - Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.
  3. Objectivity - Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.
  4. Accountability - Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.
  5. Openness - Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.
  6. Honesty - Holders of public office should be truthful.
  7. Leadership - Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour and treat others with respect. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

Code of conduct for board members

The Government expects all holders of ministerial appointments to work to the highest personal and professional standards. In support of this, all appointment holders must abide by such relevant provisions of the principles set out in the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies as could reasonably be applied to this appointment. The Code sets out the standards expected from those who serve on the boards of UK public bodies and those parts which could reasonably be applied will form part of your terms and conditions of appointment.

Management of outside interests and consideration of reputational issues

Holders of ministerial appointments are expected to adhere and uphold the Seven Principles of Public Life and the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies in so far as they could be reasonably applied. Before you apply you should consider carefully: 

  • any outside interests that you may have such as shares you may hold in a company providing services to government; 
  • any possible reputational issues arising from your past actions or public statements that you have made; 
  • and/or - any political roles you hold or political campaigns you have supported; 

which may call into question your ability to do the role you are applying for.

You will need to answer relevant questions in relation to these points when making an application. Many conflicts of interest can be satisfactorily resolved and declaring a potential conflict does not prevent you from being appointed. If you are shortlisted, the panel will consider any potential conflicts including any proposals you may have to mitigate them and record that in their advice to ministers. Alongside your own declaration, we will conduct appropriate checks, as part of which we will consider anything in the public domain related to your conduct or professional capacity. This may include searches of previous public statements and social media, blogs or any other publicly available information (political activity is not a bar to appointment, but must be declared).

Status of appointment

As this is an office holder 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.  There is no automatic presumption of reappointment; each case should be considered on its own merits, taking into account a number of factors including, but not restricted to, the diversity of the current board and its balance of skills and experience. In most cases, the total time served in post will not exceed more than two terms or serve in any one post for more than ten years

Remuneration, allowances and abatement

None. Expenses as agreed with Defra. 

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 the end of your term of appointment 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 shortlist stage.

How to complain

We aim to process all applications as quickly as possible and to treat all applicants with courtesy. Please email if you would like to make a complaint regarding your application. 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.

Contact details

Please email