The academy, which is being developed by Improve, the food and drink sector skills council, will open its doors in Autumn 2006, subject to final government approval. It will focus on bringing more highly-skilled workers into UK food and drink manufacturing.
Lord Haskins is the first of a planned select group of patrons who will lend public support to the academy. The patron's role will also be to encourage involvement from employers, who will play pivotal roles in managing the academy and determining its direction.
Jack Matthews, chief executive of Improve, said: "To have the backing of Lord Haskin is a real boost for the academy, and will no doubt contribute to its success by helping to secure continued support from employers."
The Skills Academy in Food and Drink will comprise a nationwide network of centres of excellence.
Lord Haskins said: "I feel privileged to be involved in such an exciting project that will benefit not only the food and drink industry, but the country's economy as a whole."