The appointment of Peter Barr as MLC chairman represents a crucial step forward in the ongoing efforts to unite the food chain. Hazlewood Foods boss Barr, who has 29 years experience with the major supplier, is likely to bring a wider dimension to the organisation. He will take over from Don Curry in April for a three year appointment. But the incoming chairman is playing his cards close to his chest on the MLC's strategies on extending traceability and maintaining the drive to reassure consumers. "I have the rare opportunity to consult with the whole supply chain rather than assessing things from the outside," he said. "And I want to do that before I put my cards on the table." But he emphasised that he would be listening particularly to the views of different regions. Barr also praised Curry's work during the last few years, saying that he had done a "fantastic job" through the organisation's "most traumatic period". Barr will remain in a non executive role with Hazlewood and a new chairman will be announced early in the new year Curry has been awarded the Royal Smithfield Club's Bicentenary Trophy for significant service to the meat and livestock industry. And another former MLC chairman, Geoffrey John, has been named chairman of an industry group set up by the Scottish Executive. This is charged with implementing the strategy to grow the Scottish food and drink industry by 50% over the next 10 years. {{NEWS }}