John Wood The food industry heaved a collective sigh of relief on Thursday as membership of Commission on the Future of Farming and Food was announced. Widespread fears that the Commission would be hijacked by self-styled foodies were allayed by the team that was announced. Speaking exclusively to The Grocer, food and farming minister Lord Whitty emphasised that all the key elements of the food chain were represented on the committee. Sainsbury chief Sir Peter Davis represents the major multiples, Unilever vice president Iain Ferguson represents manufacturers, and National Consumer Council chair Deidre Hutton represents consumers. Chairman is former MLC chairman and farmer Sir Don Curry. Organics is represented by Helen Browning, chair of the Soil Association. Lord Whitty said government policy on the food chain would be heavily influenced by the commission's findings. It has been asked to report by the end of the year. He said: "This will give a broad sense of direction taking farming and the food chain beyond FMD and providing an integrated approach. We have given them a tight timescale because we want the results to feed into our deliberations next year on the CAP and the Treasury's spending review." Whitty said the commission would only cover England because farming in the rest of Great Britain was covered by devolved government, although he conceded the commission's findings were likely to impact on national policy and European policy. He said that the working methods of the commission would be a matter for the chairman to decide, but it would be expected to work in an inclusive manner involving a wide range of stakeholders. A spokeswoman for the the Food and Drink Federation said: "We fully support the aims of the commission and look forward to working with it. The FDF will be providing the commission with a briefing paper on Monday which will provide a road map of the food chain with all the pressure points highlighted." The British Retail Consortium said: "We welcome the inclusion of a senior retailer, as it will look at issues which could have a significant impact of retailing." The Commission was one of three inquiries announced by the government. The others will look at lessons to be learned from this year's FMD outbreak, and scientific control and prevention of infectious diseases in livestock. {{NEWS }}