The new director general at FoodDrinkEurope, Dirk Jacobs, formally commenced his role on 1 January, replacing Mella Frewen.
Jacobs, who has been with the representative group for the European food and beverage sector since 2010, has held the position of deputy director general for the past eight years, as well as heading up the group's department for consumer information, nutrition and health topics.
Most recently, he played an important role working alongside the European Commission and other food chain stakeholders to develop the EU Code of Conduct for Responsible Food Business and Marketing Practices, launched in July 2021.
'Ambitious Transformative Process'
Commenting on his appointment, Jacobs said, "I feel enormously proud to work for Europe’s food and drink industry – a diverse and unique sector, the EU’s largest manufacturing employer, which is intrinsic to Europe’s social, cultural and economic fabric and whose products form an indispensable part of people’s daily lives.
"It is a real privilege to help drive an ambitious transformative process for our sector – and for agri-food systems at large – in the coming years and to embark on this journey together with my great colleagues, members and partners.”
Mella Frewen Departure
Both he and FoodDrinkEurope President and Nestlé Europe CEO, Marco Settembri, paid tribute to outgoing director general Mella Frewen, who has led FoodDrinkEurope for the past 15 years.
“We thank Mella for all of her hard work and fantastic achievements at FoodDrinkEurope and wish her well as she embarks on the next chapter in her life,” Settembri said.
As part of his responsibilities, Jacobs’ role will be to guide the organisation of Europe’s food and drink industry – a sector with almost 290,000 businesses – in its mission to help deliver more sustainable food systems, FoodDrinkEurope said.