The chef, who has been working with the SRA since its launch in 2010, was the only candidate for the newly-created role, but a 'natural choice' according to the association, due to his championing of sustainable practices within his own company and the industry as a whole.
Following the announcement, Blanc, who will remain in the post for three years, said he wanted to help chefs, restaurateurs and consumers embrace sustainable values which he believes can create a better business as well as improve the environment.
He said: “For 40 years I have cared passionately about sourcing and serving the very best food, looking after my staff and the community and environment around me. In the last two years I have really sensed the beginnings of a movement in restaurants across this country to meet their environmental and social responsibilities.
“Hundreds of chefs in all types of restaurants, from the Michelin-starred ones to fish and chip shops are working with the SRA to improve the whole way they manage their business. But, unless the public, many of whom care about these things, start to demand that restaurants behave responsibly, then we will miss this opportunity to make this mainstream and lose the chance to leave a significant legacy for chefs and diners.”
SRA managing director Mark Linehan said appointing Blanc would help the association with its aim of making more restaurants trade sustainably and ethically. Currently 1,000 restaurants, pubs and hotels, including the Brasserie Blanc restaurant chain, Renaissance Pubs and the Bath Priory are SRA members with another 500 due to sign up by the end of the year.
Linehan said: “We exist to help and support restaurants operate more sustainably and provide diners with the tools to make the informed decisions they tell us they want to make.
"We are delighted to have someone as committed as Raymond Blanc at the forefront of this ongoing campaign and join him in his call to call restaurants to account.”