Christine Tacon was appointed Chair of MDS in May 2016. She started her professional career as an engineer but progressed into marketing, working at Mars, Vodafone, Redland Bricks and Anchor (now Fonterra). From 2000 to 2012, she ran the Co-operative Group’s farming business, at the time, the largest in the UK. She was awarded a CBE for services to agriculture in 2004.
Christine was the first Groceries Code Adjudicator from 2013-2020, a government regulator ensuring compliance with the Groceries Supply Code of Practice between large grocery retailers and their direct suppliers. In 2021 Christine was appointed Chair for Assured Food Standards (ASF), which operates the Red Tractor Assurance scheme. ASF is an independent body owned by the UK food chain which manages and promotes assurance on behalf of the food industry. The role builds on her experience in farming and the food chain as well as working with the government and consumers.
Christine is also a Non-Executive Director of the AF Group, a farmer purchasing co-operative. She chairs the BBC Rural Affairs Committee, ensuring BBC coverage is up to date on rural issues, and is a founder of the Women in Food and Farming network which has monthly virtual meet-ups for women in the food chain.
She was awarded an honorary doctorate from Cranfield University, where she is also a visiting professor. She lives in Macclesfield on the edge of the Peak District.