INDUSTRY body Scotland Food & Drink has unveiled its new chief executive.

Iain Baxter, a former senior executive in the Scotch whisky industry, will move into the role on October 31. Mr Baxter, who has held roles with Glenmorangie, Inver House Distillers and Ian Macleod Distillers, succeeds James Withers. Mr Withers stepped down yesterday after 11 years in the post, having announced his decision to depart in May.

Mr Baxter, who was  sales and marketing director at Caledonian Sleeper from 2015 to 2018, 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. I am excited to be working with a great team, with our members, our industry partners and the Scottish Government to ensure we take full advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, founder of Genius Foods and chair of Scotland Food & Drink, said: “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.”