Deposit return schemes: are consumers and industry ready?

GS1 UK appoints Iain Walker as director of industry engagement

London, 22 September 2022 – Anne Godfrey, CEO of GS1 UK, has succeeded in the search for the role of director of industry engagement with the appointment of Iain Walker. Iain joins from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, where he has worked in a range of roles, most recently as Director, Americas in FCDO.

Iain will lead GS1 UK’s collaboration with stakeholders across key sectors to shape how GS1 standards can enable the change that industry, government and society demand. This will include exploring how standards can revolutionise the way brands connect with consumers and how healthcare providers connect with patients through digitalisation. He will also drive the development of GS1 UK’s approach in the construction sector.

He joins at a time when new legislation is being introduced across all GS1 UK’s key industry priorities. From the introduction of deposit return schemes and the Food Data Transparency Partnership; to legislation surrounding medicine and medical devices; and the identification of construction product information, these seismic shifts have left many businesses in need of greater support. Iain will lead the team which will bring key players together to find shared solutions – enabled by the interoperability of GS1 standards - to the issues that GS1 UK members struggle to solve alone.

Iain has held a number of policy, commercial and operational leadership roles across a range of government departments and industries throughout his career to date.

Iain joins GS1 UK having most recently worked as Director Americas in FCDO, and Director of the Supply Chains Unit within the Cabinet Office. He joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2010, serving on their Board as Finance Director, before serving overseas as British High Commissioner to Ghana.

When he returned from Ghana, he joined the Cabinet Office to lead on private sector engagement for HMG’s Global Supply Chains crisis response, working with CEOs and CFOs across FMCG, agriculture, logistics providers, port authorities and trade associations. While in these roles, he delivered collaborative solutions that drew on varied perspectives to ensure government policy reflected their insights and experience. 

Prior to joining the Foreign Office, Iain worked in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit and DEFRA. He built his financial expertise early in his career as a chartered accountant at EY and PwC.

When asked about his new role, Iain said: “As industry, consumers and governments demand more insightful product information, GS1 UK has a unique role to drive collaboration, promote innovation and shape standards that effect real-world change: I am hugely looking forward to getting started.”

Anne Godfrey, CEO of GS1 UK, said: “We are delighted to welcome Iain to the GS1 UK executive team. The unique combination of skills and experience he has gained throughout his career will ensure we continue to evolve our organisation to match the changing needs of our members. His first-hand experience of the power of GS1 standards mean he will be able to lead our industry collaboration initiatives with confidence. Having navigated his way through several governmental roles, I know he will relish the chance to support our key sectors through the legislative changes that are coming in order to inform and protect people.”

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Notes to editors

For further information or requests for interviews, contact Alex Cox: 07464 946 769; alexander.cox@gs1uk.org.

About GS1 UK

Whether online, in store or in a hospital, the common language of GS1 global standards is helping our community of more than 58,000 organisations across Britain to uniquely identify, describe and track anything, creating greater trust in data for everyone.

From product barcodes to patient wristbands, GS1 standards have been transforming the way we work and live for nearly 50 years.

GS1 UK is one of 116 neutral and independent GS1 organisations operating worldwide.

www.gs1uk.org / @gs1uk