Ross Warburton has been announced the new chairman of the Institute of Family Business (IFB). Warburton is the outgoing president of the Food and Drink Federation, and was awarded an MBE in 2004 for services to the food industry.

He joined Warburtons as a fifth generation family member in 1985, holding the position of chairman from 1991 to 2001, before being succeeded by his cousin Jonathan Warburton. He continues to play an active role in the company.

“I’m delighted to take up this appointment. Family firms are the backbone of the UK economy and a source of business stability at a time of economic uncertainty with their guiding principles of stewardship and entrepreneurship,” commented Warburton.

“The IFB has expanded its membership rapidly in recent years and I look forward to helping to make sure the voice of family business is heard as widely as possible among policy makers and opinion formers.”

He takes over the role of chairman of the IFB from Andrew Wates, of building and construction company Wates Group.

The IFB is an independent, not-for-profit, politically neutral, membership association which supports the UK family-owned business sector through forums, representation and research.