Premier Foods chief executive Gavin Darby has been elected as the next president of the Food & Drink Federation.

Darby, whose appointment was announced at the FDF’s annual president’s reception at the Marriott County Hall Hotel, London, will succeed Dame Fiona Kendrick, CEO and chairman of Nestlé UK & Ireland in January.

During her two years in the role, Kendrick addressed issues including the looming skills gap and helped lead the way for the first industry-led food engineering degree course at Sheffield Hallam University.

“Gavin is an articulate and determined champion of the food and drink industry and I believe he is very well placed to lead the next chapter in FDF’s development,” said Kendrick. “I wish him every success in his new role.”

Darby added: “I’m honoured to be taking on the role of president at this time. It’s never been more important for our industry to have a strong representative body as we look to play our full part in helping tackle the obesity challenge and plan for a future outside the EU.”