The federation acts as the voice of the UK food and drink manufacturing industry and Blackburn takes up his post in the new year.
His business career began with the Bradford accountants, R. S. Dawson, in 1962 as an articled clerk. Four years later he became works accountant at John Mackintosh & Son in Halifax before being appointed financial controller at the Mackintosh head office in Norwich. In 1982 he was appointed group board director of Rowntree Mackintosh becoming joint chairman and later chairman of the UK and Eire region between 1985 and 1988. After the acquisition of Rowntree by Nestl‚ in June 1988, Blackburn became chairman of Rowntree UK. He was appointed chairman and chief executive of Nestl‚ UK in April 1991.
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