Businessman named new chair of Scotland Food & Drink

Dennis Overton.
Dennis Overton.
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Industry body Scotland Food and Drink has announced businessman Dennis Overton as their new chairman following the retirement of David Kilshaw.

Mr Overton, who co-founded seafood business Aquascot, and runs the Trust which owns it own behalf of the staff, will take up his post at the start of the financial year in April 2018.

He will spearhead the leadership organisation’s strategy “Ambition 2030” which aims to double the value of Scotland’s agriculture, fishing, and food and drink to £30bn in the next 12 years.

Mr Overton has been a member of the board since 2007, and Vice-Chair since 2015.

David Kilshaw said: “It has been a privilege to have been at the heart of Scotland Food & Drink’s journey over the last ten years - it was a pioneering concept of leadership and collaboration between the industry, the government and its agencies.

“The success of the organisation is one I am immensely proud of and it is down to the hard work of many people that I have had the good fortune o work with around our Board table and across industry and public sector bodies.

“I would like to thank the Board, the staff of Scotland Food & Drink and our many partners for all their support and commitment over the last ten years.”

Following his appointment, Dennis Overton said: “Our food and drink industry has gone from static growth ten years ago to becoming the best performing sector in Scotland’s economy.

“David Kilshaw’s leadership has been central to that. He had a vision for a collaborative leadership body, to forge a deep partnership cross industry and the public sector and drive a new era of growth.

“We have seen that vision become a reality in recent years and we have the strongest ever platform to now build on.

“Our Board and the industry owes David a debt of gratitude for his commitment not only over the last ten years but in the many years that led up to the creation of the Scotland Food & Drink Partnership.

“There are of course challenges ahead, with the implications of Brexit at the forefront of minds. However, we remain hugely ambitious for the sector’s potential.

“Ambition 2030 charts a path to doubling the size of our sector by 2030 and making it a force for good across Scotland’s economy, environment and communities. I look forward to working with the Board, staff team and our partners to delivering on that ambition.”

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