Food industry heavyweight announced as new Chair of SAIC

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by Heather Jones

Chief Executive Officer

David Gregory, a highly experienced food industry director and former Chairman of Red Tractor Assurance, is to be the new Chairperson of the Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC). He takes up the role on 1 March 2018.

David brings to the position over four decades’ experience spanning the entire food chain from agriculture to aquaculture, fisheries through to food production and retail to food service.  He has also had close involvement with science and research funding through his role as a member of the Governing Council of the BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council), as current President of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, and as Trustee and former Chairman of the British Nutrition Foundation.

A former Director of Technology for the food division at Marks & Spencer Plc, David was one of the authors of Plan A – the retailer’s internationally recognised 100 point sustainable business plan.

David is a Chartered Scientist, a member of the industrial advisory board of the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, and a visiting professor at the University of Reading Centre for Chemistry, Food and Pharmacy.

Commenting on his appointment, David said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to work with such an outstanding and high-quality industry and to supporting the excellent work being done by SAIC.  The aquaculture industry is hugely important to the rural economy in Scotland and I look forward to playing a part in delivering the 2030 plan for Scottish aquaculture.”

Heather Jones, CEO of SAIC, said: “The team at SAIC is delighted that someone of David’s calibre is joining us as we move into our next phase and we look forward to working with him over the coming years.”

Dr Stuart Fancey, Director of Research and Innovation at the Scottish Funding Council, a major funder of SAIC, added: “David’s unique combination of a career in the food industry and knowledge of science and research funding makes him the ideal candidate to be Chairperson of SAIC.  He has a range of skills and knowledge which will help him to bring a fresh approach to the role.  We are delighted to welcome David into his new position.”

Jim Gallagher, Joint Chair of the Aquaculture Industry Leadership Group, also welcomed David’s appointment:“David has a wealth of experience in the food industry which combined with his many years of involvement with science and research funding means he will be a great asset to, and ambassador for, SAIC.”

Charlotte Wright, Chief Executive of Highlands & Islands Enterprise, commented: “This is a great appointment for SAIC.  It’s really important that we focus on innovation to drive the development of the sector and David’s previous experience not just in the food industry but also with science and research bodies will be a great help in delivering this.”

David replaces Jack Perry CBE who was instrumental in guiding SAIC from inception to an active catalyst of industry investment in innovative R&D.