Defra appoints Chris Tyas OBE as new non-executive board member

The GS1 UK chair has been appointed to The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ departmental board.


The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has today (11 January 2024) announced the appointment of Chris Tyas OBE as a non-executive board member.

Chris’ term as non-executive board member will last for three years. The Defra board provides strategic, corporate leadership to the department and has particular responsibility for monitoring performance and delivery. 

Chris joined GS1 UK as chair in 2018 having previously served as vice chairman. He has a globally recognised pedigree in the consumer goods industry, with extensive supply chain expertise resulting from his 40 year career working for Mars and Nestlé in a variety of roles across procurement, manufacturing, HR, IT and logistics. 

He has an extensive track record of leading collaboration across industry, especially around the topics of sustainability, data and food safety. This includes leading the Consumer Goods Forum’s Sustainable Supply Chain Initiative, serving as chair of the Food Resilience Industry Forum (FRIF), and as Defra’s director of food supply to co-ordinate the industry’s response to the COVID19 pandemic.

Chris Tyas OBE

Chris Tyas OBE

In recent years, Chris has become a key figure in the government’s relationship with the industry and, in February 2023, he was appointed as co-chair of the National Food Data Transparency Partnership

Commenting on his appointment, Chis said: “After over four decades working in the food and agriculture sector I am delighted to have the opportunity to give something back.

“I hope to be able to use my experience in the food and agricultural sectors in the UK and world markets to contribute to the quality of decision making and especially implementation in the months and years to come.”

DEFRA’s non-executive board members are senior figures from outside government, appointed to provide challenge to government departments. 

All non-executive board member appointments follow an open and transparent process, in line with the government’s Code of Good Practice for Corporate Governance in Central Government Departments. 

As set out in the Code of Practice, non-executive board members are appointed directly by the Secretary of State and are not civil servants.


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