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Scotland Food & Drink boss Iain Baxter

Scotland Food & Drink has named Iain Baxter as its new Chief Executive.

Baxter boasts over 15 years’ experience within Scotch whisky at Glenmorangie, Inver House, International Beverage, and latterly Ian Macleod Distillers.

He takes over from James Withers who announced his departure earlier in May after 11 years at the helm of the organisation.

Baxter will start on 31 October, with the current Deputy CEO and Strategy Director John Davidson acting as interim until then.

He said: “I am delighted to be joining Scotland Food & Drink at this dynamic time in our national food and drink story.

“We will of course face domestic and global challenges; not least the economic and environmental headwinds, which cannot be underestimated. However, with the enviable strength of our national food and drink brand, rooted in the passion and commitment of everyone involved in the sector, I am confident that Scotland is well positioned for strong growth.”

Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, founder of Genius Foods and chair of Scotland Food & Drink, added: “Following a rigorous search process led by Carlyle, Iain stood out as the ideal candidate to take Scotland Food & Drink into the next chapter of the organisation. Iain’s experience leading change across industries will be invaluable as we face up to harsh macro-economic realities that face our and every other area of the economy.

“In his whisky career, Iain championed Scotland’s national drink around the world, and will help us fulfil our ambition to promote Scotland globally as a land of food and drink.”