James Withers Bio

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Chief Executive James Withers

James Withers is the Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink.  

Scotland Food & Drink (SF&D) is the industry leadership body, established in 2007, to spearhead the industry's growth from £10 billion in 2007 to £16.5 billion by 2017.  As a membership organisation, it seeks to support food and drink businesses of all sizes and scale to achieve their ambitions.  The organisation has 350 companies in its membership of all shapes and sizes.  James has been CEO since 2011.

The organisation brings together the range of industry organisations working within the food and drink industry in Scotland.  It has defined a common purpose and developed an industry-wide strategy for growth.  This level of collaboration, strongly supported by the Scottish Government and their enterprise agencies who are active partners, is now seen as a model for other sectors of the Scottish economy to follow.

Scotland Food & Drink has a focus on growing the sales of Scottish produce both in home markets and internationally and it seeks to develop Scotland’s reputation as a Land of Food and Drink.

Prior to joining the organisation, James worked for the National Farmers Union Scotland and spent 12 years with NFUS in various roles promoting the interest of the nation's agriculture industry.  He was CEO from 2008-2011.

James is also a Board member of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, which is driving forward a new, ambitious tourism strategy for Scotland. 

Through SF&D’s work in linking food and drink, tourism and major events, James and his team have been involved in the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup in recent years. 

James is 38 and lives in Edinburgh with his wife, Joanna, and their two children.  

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