Andrew Stephen said the SRA, which has grown from 50 members to 6,000 in six years, had guided the industry on a ‘progressive path’.
He has taken over the role from former managing director Mark Linehan, who left the SRA last month.
Stephen said: “While the challenges are greater than ever before, more people want to eat genuinely ‘good’ food when they dine out.
“Restaurants and food service businesses can do so much more than just feed people and are absolutely key to creating solutions to the challenges we face.”
The SRA will use its Food Made Good programme to provide businesses with simple means of breaking down key sustainability issues by turning them in to ‘manageable’ campaigns.
Stephen said: “From 2017, we’re planning a lot more impact and we will be working flat out to help organise the issues, challenges and solutions for consumers and foodservice businesses, providing the platform for a progressive, ongoing conversation between the hospitality sector and the Great British dining public.”
Stephen joins the SRA from a position as director at 2degrees, the world’s largest platform for sustainable business, which helps food businesses and retailers overcome supply chain challenges.
Giles Gibbons, who founded the SRA along with restaurateurs Henry Dimbleby and Mark Sainsbury, said: “Mark Linehan helped the SRA become a genuine partner for restaurants and hospitality businesses across the UK and beyond. We are delighted to have Andrew joining us with a clear mandate: to lead the sector to be the best and most sustainable in the world.”