Scotland Food & Drink strengthens leadership team with four senior appointments

Gemma Gillespie, Finance Director at Scotland Food & Drink

INDUSTRY leadership organisation Scotland Food & Drink has announced four new senior appointments including Gemma Gillespie as Finance Director and the promotion of Amanda Brown to Programme Director as it strengthens its senior team following the launch of a new 10-year national food and drink strategy, ‘Sustaining Scotland. Supplying the World’.

Amanda Brown joins the business from SAOS (Scottish Agriculture Organisational Society) where for the latter part of her role there was seconded to Scotland Food & Drink to design and launch The Knowledge Bank, the industry market insights service. With over 30 years’ experience of working in the Scottish food and drink sector, Amanda has taken on the role of Programme Director, responsible for ensuring the delivery of Scotland Food & Drink’s wide-ranging programme of projects which emanate from the new national strategy, working closely with Scotland Food & Drink’s UK Market Development and strategy delivery teams.

Fellow industry expert Carol Saunders, has taken on the role of Head of Insights at The Knowledge Bank, bringing with her over 20 years’ experience working with global brands like Coca-Cola Enterprises, Heineken, and Highland Spring. Taking over this role, Carol will lead The Knowledge Bank team to identify and develop new market opportunities using research, insight and market data to deliver sustainable growth for all businesses involved in the Scottish food and drink industry. 

Amanda Brown, Programme Director at Scotland Food & Drink, said: “I am delighted and privileged to be taking on this new role at this pivotal time for our industry.  We launched a refreshed strategy in June which maps out the key opportunities to build growth, sustainability and resilience in our industry and by working together across our Partnership. I am looking forward to putting in place initiatives that will help businesses access and realise market opportunities in our key markets in Scotland, the wider UK market and in key international markets.”

To prepare itself for the next chapter of its new 10-year food and drink strategy, the industry leadership body has appointed Gemma Gillespie, who joins the team from Beatson Cancer Charity as Finance Director, bringing extensive financial and corporate services experience across a variety of industries. To support the team through this next strategic chapter, Claire Bisset has also been promoted to the role of HR Director, having been with Scotland Food & Drink for just under 10 years.

Gemma Gillespie, Finance Director at Scotland Food & Drink, said:“It’s an exciting time for the food and drink industry in Scotland and I am delighted to have joined the team at this moment, delivering the new industry strategy. Our organisation has a key role to play in supporting and nurturing the food and drink industry, and I look forward to building upon our previous success and seeing the increased impact that we will achieve in the sector.”

Scotland Food & Drink’s vision is for Scotland to be the best place in the world to own, operate, and work for a food and drink business.

Iain Baxter, Chief Executive at Scotland Food & Drink, said: “As an organisation it is vital that we have the right talent and teams in place to aid our mission to build resilience within the sector, support our plans to grow faster than our competitors and to be the world’s most sustainable food-producing nations. These positions strengthen our senior leadership team allowing us to put our best foot forward as we aim to deliver on our strategy and become a £20 billion industry by 2028.”

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