Melanie Leech

Melanie Leech is leaving the FDF

The Food & Drink Federation’s director general, Melanie Leech, is leaving after nine years in the role, it said today.

Leech, who has held the post at the manufacturing trade body since August 2005, is moving to head up the British Property Federation.

In her time at the FDF, Leech campaigned on product labelling, GDAs, sustainability, promoting exports, and slashing red tape in the industry. She backed the creation of the Groceries Code Adjudicator and helped the industry weather the fallout from the horsemeat scandal.

“I have been privileged to lead FDF for the last nine years and am incredibly proud of what we have achieved in that time,” Leech said.

“We have made a real difference for food and drink manufacturing and driven the agenda through initiatives such as our Five-fold Environmental Ambition, our 2020 Growth Vision and our Ingredients for Success. The time is now right for me to move on to a new challenge and I am excited about the opportunity to represent another major economic powerhouse sector for the UK economy.”

“Melanie has made a significant contribution to furthering the industry’s interests during her time at FDF,” said FDF president Richard Evans.

“She has been responsible for a number of key campaigns and worked tirelessly to make sure members are well represented in the key debates affecting our sector. She is highly regarded both by members and our stakeholders and has been a huge support to me and my predecessors in the role of president. We wish her well for her new role.”

FDF said it had begun its search for a new director general.