Exclusive Clive Beddall Former Allied Domecq and Sainsbury director David McNair is the new chief executive of Food from Britain. He joins the organisation next week and succeeds Patrick Davis, who leaves at the end of the month to become managing director of Group Cereal Services, the Andover-based farmers' co-op. McNair, 50, was brand director of Sainsbury's Supermarkets from 1997 until last April, before leaving to return to his own interim management consultancy when the multiple ditched its traditional trading procedures in favour of a new-look structure. New FFB chairman Gordon Summerfield said on Thursday: "David brings a wide breadth of supplier and retailing experience to the job and is an able successor to Patrick Davis." A former colleague of McNair's at Sainsbury said: "This is a very shrewd move by FFB. David's wide experience across retailing in Europe, plus his supplier sector knowledge, will be invaluable in our fight to win business overseas." McNair, who began his business career as a Unilever trainee, gaining experience with Batchelors and Van den Berghs, was with the Distillers Company from 1981 to 1986, latterly as marketing director. He then joined United Distillers as marketing services director and was divisional marketing director of Allied Domecq from 1992 to 1996 before setting up his own consultancy, which led to the Sainsbury job. McNair's initial challenge will be to help British food and drink exporters win overseas sales in the face of a strong pound. Total shipments overseas, worth £9.2bn in 1998, were down 8% during the first six months of 1999, a fall blamed on continuing exchange rate problems and recession in key markets. {{NEWS }}