Sainsbury's group commercial director Mike Coupe has been appointed as president of the Caravan charity fundraising committee.

He will take on the new position at the national grocers' benevolent fund from April 2011, stepping into the shoes of Waitrose MD Mark Price, who has held the position since September 2009.

In his new role Coupe will become involved in the strategic planning of Caravan's fundraising and has pledged to raise £3m this year, an increase on this year's record £2.3m. The charity raises money through a variety of fundraising events, donations and corporate sponsorship.

Coupe was appointed an executive director at Sainsbury's in 2007 and has been a member of the operating board since 2004. He joined Sainsbury's from Big Food Group where he was a board director of Big Food Group plc and MD of Iceland Food Stores. He is also a member of the supervisory board of GSI UK.

"This is an exciting time for Caravan," said Caravan director general Gillian Barker. "We are very positive about the future of the charity and with Mike on board it gives us a great ­opportunity to build on our fundraising base and help even more people in need."

Over the past year the charity has assisted more than 1,900 people and their dependants, including ­delivery drivers, sales ­representatives and checkout operators who were struggling to cope.