Professor Chris Elliott, Professor of Food Safety
Chris is currently Professor of Food Safety and founder of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast. He currently co-ordinates a flagship Horizon2020 project involving 16 European and 17 Chinese partners on food safety and also co-ordinates an European Institute of Innovation and Technology flagship project or organic food.
He is a visiting Professor at the China Agriculture University in Beijing and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a recipient of a Winston Churchill Fellowship and is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Royal Society of Biology and the Institute of Food Science and Technology. In 2017 he was awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry Theophilus Redwood Prize and was also awarded an OBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Caitlin Boon, Associate Commissioner for Food Policy and Response
Caitlin S. Boon, PhD serves as Associate Commissioner for Food Policy and Response at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In this role, she serves as advisor to the Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response on a variety of food safety activities including implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act and other high priority food safety policy development activities, outbreak response and recall activities, and efforts to evaluate and adopt new and emerging technologies to strengthen FDA’s ability to address food safety concerns.
Previously, Dr. Boon served as Senior Science Advisor to the Chief of Staff, serving as a principal advisor and consultant to the Commissioner and the Chief of Staff on scientific and policy matters relating to food safety, nutrition, and veterinary medicine. Prior to this role, she held several positions in other parts of FDA, including the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition and the Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Boon also served as an FDA detailee to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Before joining FDA, she worked at the National Academies in the Institute of Medicine (IOM), where she served as study director for food and nutrition related consensus reports and directed the IOM Food Forum.
Dr. Boon received undergraduate degrees in Food Science and Poultry Science from North Carolina State University, completed a master’s degree in Food Policy at City University London while on a Fulbright grant to the United Kingdom, and received a doctorate in Food Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Renée Elliott, Founder
Renée Elliott founded Planet Organic, the UK’s first organic supermarket, in 1995nand changed the way the UK thinks about food. With her mission to promote health in the community, Renée challenged conventional retailing and showed that values-led, commercially-driven business is Good Business. She’s volunteered at the Soil Association since 1999 as a crusader for organic food and now also volunteers for Garden Organic. Renée has written four books, one of which was called “a kitchen essential” by Gwyneth Paltrow.
Today, Renée is 50% mother and 50% businesswoman. She recently launched her second wellbeing business called Beluga Bean. Beluga Bean Academy is a business mentoring and life-coaching academy for what you don’t learn at school. Beluga Bean provides learning and support across six spheres of wellbeing - to empower you to work and live better. Renée is an inspirational speaker, delivering over 40 speeches each year.
In everything she does, Renée challenges convention to make life and work better.
Yves Rey, Corporate Quality General Manager
Yves Rey is a French citizen and a graduate of ENSAIA, France and holds MSc degrees in chemistry and biochemistry. He has more than 42 years’ experience in world’s leading food, beverage and packaging companies in 10 different countries. He started his career in 1975 with Heineken in production and then joined Schweppes in 1982, first as Plant Manager and then as Operations Director. In 1991, he was appointed Technical Director of Coca-Cola. In 1994, he was appointed General Manager for Europe of McCain Sunnyland, before moving on in 1999 to become General Manager South Europe of Wipak Flexible Packaging. Yves joined Groupe Danone in 2003. He held the position of Corporate Quality General Manager and then since January 2015 he holds the position of senior advisor to DANONE’s board. Yves has been a longstanding member of the GFSI board (Global food Safety Initiatives) - from 2006 to 2011, as vice-chair from 2008 t0 2011 and as Chair from 2012 to 2014. Yves was on the board of Directors for Safe Supply of Affordable Food Everywhere (SSAFE) and is working closely with CFDA, AQSIQ and CNCA in China on the global harmonization of food safety requirements, with USDA and FDA (USA) regarding food safety standards, with DG-Sanco in Europe on Food Fraud and with CODEX, FAO and OIE on harmonized food safety standards.
Stephen Batchford, Science, Technical Insights and Policy Manager
Steve currently works as the Science, Technical Insights and Policy Manager for Sainsbury’s, with accountability for horizon scanning of product safety, integrity and authenticity risks, and Sainsbury’s technical documents. He leads on a number of key food integrity related initiatives for the business including antimicrobial resistance, Campylobacter in poultry and chemical contaminants. Steve’s background is in microbiology and he has previously held a number of food safety management positions within the retail and foodservice sectors
Nemanja Vukanic, Head of Technical and Quality
Nemanja holds a BSc in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Biotechnology and an MSc in Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance and Biotechnology from Technological University Dublin in Ireland. After University Nemanja joined ABP’s Food Group, one of Europe's largest red meat manufacturers turning over €3 bn annually, as part of the Technical Management graduate programme. After working across multiple primary and retails sites Nemanja completed the Technical training scheme in record time and headed up the Technical and H&S Departments at ABP Guildford. He now heads up the Technical & Quality department at itsu [grocery] a crusading, dynamic & fast-growing Asian-inspired brand founded by Julian Metcalfe, which has seen 40% YOY growth for the last 3 years. As part of his role he has travelled extensively within the global supply chain conducting audits and developing relationships with major producers across the globe. Nemanja brings his strong commitment to excellence through improving organisations, teams and people at the highest level. He has participated in several Food Safety & Quality conferences and most recently was a guest speaker at the Food Sure Summit in Amsterdam.
Benjamin Diep, Food Safety Microbiologist
Benjamin has spent more than 20 years in food industry focusing on Food Safety and Quality. He is currently working as a scientist at Nestlé Research in Lausanne, Switzerland. His field of expertise comprises methods development and validation (cultural and molecular based methods) for food pathogens and hygiene indicators. He is involved or lead several Nestlé research projects. He recently published a manuscript on the use of a microarray method and Whole Genome Sequencing data to predict Salmonella serovars (Frontiers in Microbiology) and on the validation of commercial sterility testing methods (Food Control). He also works with operation where he provides technical support to improve the laboratories competency. He is a member of ISO 16140 WG and the co-project leader of the ISO 16140 part 3. He is also a technical reviewer for MicroVal.
Connor Black, Direct Sourcing
My role at morrisons as trading manager for direct sourcing within the seafood team is to identify new sourcing opportunities and ensure the sourcing of products to be as direct to source as possible.
My previous role was an 18 month postdoctoral research fellow position at the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) at Queen's University Belfast (QUB) where my role was to assess what analytical platforms, mostly mass spectrometric in conjunction with chemometrics, could be utilised to aid the detection of food fraud. This was on the back of my PhD obtained in late 2017 which identified that 25% of commercial oregano products sold in the UK were fraudulent with cheap bulking agents as well as demonstrating that real time detection of multiple aspects of meat and fish fraud were achievable using ambient mass spectrometry.
The success of my studies has allowed me to present at reknowned conferences across Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East.
Socially, I am a keen football and rugby player, as well as holding grade 7 piano and grade 6 violin.
Julie Pierce, Director of Openness, Digital and Data
Julie Pierce has been Director of Openness, Data and Digital since 2015. The post was established to drive for the use of modern digital approaches and technologies, taking an open approach, within the agency but also across the food system. Exploitation of Data and Digital is driving change within the Agency, as well as within the global food system, as half our food is imported. Whether food safety or crime, and the FSA as the regulator must play a key role. We are working with industry and regulators globally in exploring technologies such as blockchain, AI, big data, IoT, or APIs to integrate a disparate industry together.
Julie is a member of the FSA Executive, and also has oversight responsibility for the FSA operation in Wales.
Previously Julie was the CIO at Defra. She spent much of her earlier career in the private sector implementing change programmes as a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers in financial services, pharmaceuticals, defence as well as central government, both in the UK and mainland Europe.
Liz Colebrook, Global SRA Director Food Safety
Liz Colebrook is Global Scientific & Regulatory Affairs Director of Food Safety at Mars, Incorporated and has more than 25 years experience in food safety science and regulatory affairs. Liz graduated in Food Science at Reading University and began her food industry career in technical auditing and product development. After entering the world of regulatory affairs during her employment with H J Heinz, Liz joined Mars Petcare as a Legal and Regulatory Affairs Manager in 2001. During her 18 years with Mars, Liz has predominantly worked in the Scientific & Regulatory Affairs arena, completing a Masters in European Food Regulatory Affairs in 2003. In her current role she is responsible for the development of leadership strategy, knowledge and insights relating to food safety regulation.
Debbie Barnes, Head of Technology - Ambient Foods & Nutrition
Debbie has been with Marks and Spencer for 10 years, working across a broad spectrum of product sectors and raw material supply chains. Prior to this appointment, Debbie worked in the Food Manufacturing Industry for 15 years, in various Technical and Operational roles including Technical Director of multiple sites with end to end accountability for Food Safety, Quality, Integrity and Legality.
Debbie is also an accredited Counter Fraud Specialist and leads the Marks & Spencer Food Integrity and Intelligence programme.
Externally Debbie is an operational member of the Food Industry Intelligence Network (FIIN) Technical Steering Group, making recommendations to members, to help ensure the integrity of food supply chains and working to protect the interests of the consumer.
Professor Louise Manning, Professor in Agri-food and Supply Chain Security
Louise Manning, PhD, has worked as an academic, management consultant, lecturer and trainer for thirty-five years addressing business management, quality assurance, brand equity, food safety, animal welfare, corporate social responsibility, ethical issues, and environmental protection. Louise has written or edited six books and her research has been published in several peer reviewed journals. She continues to be active in both commercial and research projects. Louise maintains a number of weblogs and her current thoughts on food safety, management and communication can be found at The Human Imprint and Food Safety Chat.
Nick Cornwell, Head of Technical – Delicious Food
Nick Cornwell started his Food Retail career in stores when he joined Somerfield in 1992. Having completed a variety of roles including store management he moved in to Retail Operations with Somerfield specialising in store replenishment and availability. In 2010 Nick relocated to Manchester following the Co-op acquisition of Somerfield, to join the newly Central Supply Chain function where he performed a variety of senior management roles. In 2016 he moved to Commercial to set up the Profitable Sales team, delivering significant and sustained reductions in waste and the cost of range churn. In May 2018, Nick moved in to Category Trading Manager role heading up the Dairy Buying team before taking up the role Head of Technical for Co-op in April 2019. Nick’s primary focus is the delivery of the Co-op Technical vision, for Co-op “to be the UK’s most trusted own brand proposition, renowned for our quality, safety and integrity
Franz Ulberth, Head of Unit, Joint Research Centre
Franz is Head of the Fraud Detection and Prevention Unit at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre. He graduated (PhD) in "Food Science and Biotechnology" from the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna, Austria. In 1994 he was appointed professor of food chemistry at the same university. Franz joined JRC in 2002 as a programme co-ordinator for food and environmental reference materials. In 2007 Franz was nominated Head of the Food Safety and Quality Unit. As of July 2016 he heads a newly created Unit devoted to detection of fraud in the food chain and selected consumer goods such as tobacco. He represents the Joint Research Centre in relevant food related technical committees of standards developing organisations such as the European Committee for Standardization, International Organization for Standardization, AOAC International and the Codex Alimentarius.
Clare Menezes, Director Global Food Integrity
Clare is Director Global Food Integrity for the Global Quality & Food Safety Center of Excellence at McCormick & Company. A key area of focus is herbs and spice integrity and specifically supply chain vulnerability management within the McCormick global authenticity programme. As part of her leadership accountability, she is responsible for directing Global Centres of Analytical Science and consequently heads McCormick’s activity investigating Emerging Technologies for the detection and verification of product integrity challenges.
Clare has a BSc degree in Microbiology, Biochemistry and Physiology from the University of Reading (UK) and is a Registered Food Safety Principle (RFoodSP) and recognized Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology.
Andy Richardson, Head of Corporate Affairs
Andy has worked in the food and farming sector for 30 years and during this time he has forged a reputation for being an impactful industry leader with a reputation for developing effective strategies, positivity and forging collaboration across diverse stakeholder groups. He believes in creating change for good and not just talking about it.
He currently chairs the Welsh Government Food & Drink Board and is a member of the UK Government Food & Drink Council. He has recently been a member of the Brexit Food & Farming Commission Steering Group and Chair of the Welsh Dairy Leadership Board.
Andy has co-founded industry, NGO & Government international collaborations including the recent “Protein Challenge 2040” which aims to create positive change in the global protein supply chain in partnership with a diverse range of stakeholders.
Arun Chauhan, Director, Tenet Compliance & Litigation/Fraud Advisory Panel
Arun is a director at the niche law firm Tenet Compliance & Litigation which provides advice on financial crime compliance, fraud investigations and recovery of losses due to fraud. Arun is also Deputy Chair of the highly respected charity, the Fraud Advisory Panel.
Arun has over 15 years' experience as a solicitor advising on fraud-related matters, including employee fraud, bribery and corruption, investment fraud and professional negligence claims ranging in value of £50,000 to £10m.
He is a regular speaker and trainer on counter fraud issues, an expert for the BBC on fraud related issues, holds a post-graduate diploma in financial crime compliance with the International Compliance Association and in 2019 was highly commended by the Law Society in their excellence awards”.
Elena Maestri, Professor
Elena Maestri has a degree in Biology and a PhD in Genetics. Is Full Professor of Applied Biology at the University of Parma, in the Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences, and Environmental Sustainability. Elena is the President of the Degree in Biotechnology and member of the PhD Course in Biotechnology and Life Sciences. Her teaching activities cover Cell and Animal Biology, Environmental Biology, Applications of Transgenic Organisms.
The research activities are focused on three main topics:
- molecular methods for food traceability and integrity
- sustainable agriculture in the framework of circular economy
- environmental biotechnologies, phytoremediation, effects of pollutants including nanoparticles as emerging contaminants.
Elena authored over 250 publications. Elena is in the Editorial Board of the journals 'Environmental Science and Pollution Research' and 'International Journal of Phytoremediation'
Marco Arlorio, Full Professor (Food Chemistry)
Marco Arlorio is currently Professor of Food Chemistry at Dipartimento di Scienze del Farmaco – Food Chemistry, Biotechnology and Nutrition Unit, Università del Piemonte Orientale (UPO, Novara, Italy). An expert in the field of food chemistry, Marco’s 28 years within the industry stretches across an international portfolio of public and private research centres and organisations.
He has been the Chair of the Food Chemistry Division, EuChemS (Brussels, Belgium) since 2015, and a member of the Executive Board of EuChemS since 2018. He was previously active as Member of the Executive Board of the SAFE Consortium (Brussels, Belgium) and from 2015-2018 led the interdivisional Group of Food Chemistry within the Italian Chemical Society.
Marco’s academic expertise includes food chemistry, food biotechnology, food analysis, chemistry of functional foods and nutraceutical products. He is a visiting Professor at the Food Quality and Design Department, WUR (Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands), as well as being involved in Continuing Medical Education in the area of food sciences and nutrition in Italy.
Marco is a principal investigator for a number of national and international projects, most recently leading the WP18 “INTELLItrace”, within the EU Food Integrity Project.
Alongside his academic activity, he has also worked as a consultant for 25 years for a range of companies in the agro-food and chemical/technological field.
Main research interests are focused on food quality and food safety assessment, particularly regarding the development of new analytical methods and strategic approaches dedicated to the food profiling, as well as to the food integrity and authenticity. Another key interest is related to the development and characterisation of functional ingredients for food and food supplements.
Principal key interests (research): targeted and untargeted food authenticity and analytical traceability-related methods, exploiting both chromatographic and biotechnological approaches; detection of hidden ingredients in food (mainly allergens); bioactive compounds in food/ingredients (particularly antioxidant polyphenols and biogenic amines); ingredient design (particularly regarding the valorisation of by-products and food wastes); stability of food ingredients and shelf life; thermal impact and neo-formed compounds in foods.
Dr. Naresh Patel, Commercial Director
Naresh has worked in the food testing industry for over 30 years with a proven track record at Campden BRI and Scientific Analysis Laboratories. He is most recognised in the field of pesticide testing. Whilst operating in a commercial role he is widely known within the produce industry and UK retailers for his knowledge and advice on testing programmes. In his role at i2 FAST he has been integral to the introduction of an innovative pesticide testing service, presenting a detailed pesticide screen that is aligned with modern agronomy practices and legislation requirements. In addition, a novel reporting style has been introduced to assist the management of the pesticide testing programmes by providing additional information such as toxicity implications relating to the findings. He sits on many committees, and professional bodies contributing his knowledge and expertise to address the challenges faced by the produce industry.
Andrew Walker, Founder
Founder of TEA REX the world’s first raw fruit and root tea. Made with only fresh ingredients and natural processes to make every cup RAWR with flavour. We use clever cold-pressing, not pasteurisation, to naturally cram all the flavours, vitamins and nutrients into a raw blend ready for you to just add water.
Heather Mills, Owner
Heather Mills is the founder of the plant based ethical Vegan food company VBites. She has encountered an unusual life of extraordinary circumstances. A woman that has an inert ability to defy and conquer anything that falls in her path.
In 1993 Heather suffered the loss of her left leg below the knee due to an accident. To save her amputated leg from constant infection she went on a plant-based diet. Heather created the pioneering international plant based ethical Vegan food company, VBites, which exports to 24 countries, offers 130 plant-based products and has won 80 awards.
Wayne Martindale, Associate Professor, Food Insights and Sustainability
Since 2018, Wayne has brought over 20 years’ experience into leading the Food Insights and Sustainability Research Group at the National Centre for Food Manufacturing. The food innovation folio he leads delivers applied research with manufacturers and technology integrators. Wayne’s post-doctoral biotechnology research was completed in the mid 1990’s at the University of Florida and Rothamsted. Following this he entered commercial research with Levington Agriculture leading technical communications. He has since worked at the Australian Government’s science agency- CSIRO, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre and the OECD leading research applied to the traceability of fuels, feeds and foods. He is known for the use of geo-intelligence and digital solutions that take traditional consumer insights much further. His career began as a BTEC apprentice with British Sugar plc, Bush Boake Allen Group and Ford Motor Company in the 1980's. He obtained his doctorate in biochemistry in 1993 at the University of Sheffield.
Elizabeth Bui, Strategic Marketing and Project Director
Elizabeth spent 25 years in the health and wellness industry (Sanofi, Naturex) managing brands and product portfolio, designing product innovation strategy, handling strategic and operational marketing for major industries within the health and wellness industry around the globe.
She is acting as a permanent consultant for Better World Naturals, helping the company to build up their business and company brand image in US and EU. Challenges are to overcome customer skepticism on Chinese based products. She's also in charge of advising the technical and marketing team to innovate and communicate with the ultimate goal: build customer trust. A key area of focus is the management of the supply chain of plant-based ingredient sourced and manufactured in China, defining and solving traceability, quality and transparency issues.
Elizabeth has a postgraduate diploma in biochemistry & molecular biology from the University of Orsay Paris XI (France). I am the owner of B@HEALTH and consulting for the B to B ingredient industry and B to C nutraceutical and functional food market.
Gary McMahon, Microbiologist
- Over 27 years’ experience working in Moy Park both within the Group Laboratories and the site & customer-focussed Technical & Quality Management functions, both at site and Group level as part of the Senior Leadership Team.
- Extensive experience of working with the major UK and Ireland Retailers and Food-service Providers
- Project Management, including grant-funded projects
- Industry representative on the FSA/BPC/Industry working groups on Campylobacter
- Member of the Chilled Foods Association Executive and Technical Committees
- Active member of the Campden BRI Member Interest & Project Working Groups
- Member of retailer focus groups
Gideon Ashworth, Head of Food Defence
Gideon has extensive experience in primary food production and technical management, including the challenges of emerging ingredients and their associated emerging hazards. With a background in Commercial Horticulture and MSc in Postharvest Technology, Gideon’s applied technical knowledge of global food supply chains underpins his approach to food authenticity verification. This involves a multi-faceted approach towards mitigating food fraud throughout potentially complex ingredient supply chains, assuring the integrity of foods for customers and consumers. Amongst current projects for Bart Ingredients, Gideon is implementing NIR spectroscopy technology within the commercial environment, with an emphasis on Herbs and Spices.
Gavin Milligan, ESG Director
Gavin Milligan holds a PhD from the University of London and worked in the chemical industry before moving to the food sector. He has worked for a number of businesses from SMEs to blue chip corporates in supply chain, operations and commercial roles and is currently ESG Director for the William Jackson Food Group where he oversees the company’s social and environmental programmes. He is a member director of Sedex, sits on the Management Committee of BBNet and is a member of the Food Knowledge Transfer Network, which he represents on the European Food Technology Platform. He sits on the Industrial Advisory Boards at Sheffield Hallam University’s centre for excellence in food engineering and Lincoln University’s MSc programme in agri-food technology and on the Commercial Advisory Board of the Industrial Biotechnology and Innovation Centre in Glasgow. He also runs his own business, Green Knight Sustainability Consulting, specialising in developing social and environmental strategies for agri-food and allied businesses.
Michele Suman, Research Manager Food Chemistry & Safety
Michele Suman was born in Rovigo, Italy, in 1973. Analytical Chemistry Degree, Summa Cum Laude, at University of Ferrara in 1997. National Prize for Young Researchers Italian Chemistry Federation in 1998.
Master in Science, Technology and Management in 1998 and PhD in Science and Technology of Innovative Materials from University of Parma in 2005.
Food Safety & Authenticity Research Manager in Barilla Spa company since 2003. Here he has been working in an international contest with public and private research centers\organizations on research projects within the field of food chemistry, food safety-quality-authenticity, food contact materials, sensing and mass spectrometry applications for food products.
He is member of working groups in European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and Chair of the ILSI Process Related Compounds & Natural Toxins Task Force; Leader in the Food Safety Section of Italian National Cluster Agrifood, member of the Board of Mass Spectrometry Division – Italian Chemistry Society; He has been involved in various National/European Funded Projects and presently he is WP Leader in the EU-FP7 FoodIntegrity Project and in the EU-H2020 MyToolBox projects.
His scientific production is documented by six book chapters, 130 contributions at national and international conferences and 80 papers in international ISI journals.
Melinda Edwards, Global Packaging Material and Vendor Quality Assurance Expert
Melinda has an educational background in Chemistry, Management & Industrial Engineering. She has over 10 years of experience in the food packaging industry, three of which working at Barry Callebaut. Melinda is also HACCP Level 3 certified, and has completed several courses including Packaging Technology for Auditors. At Barry Callebaut, she is a packaging expert in the Global Supplier Quality Team, and has been responsible for the creation of the Global Packaging Supplier Quality Requirements, and the Material and Supplier Risk Assessment, including the Vulnerability Assessment.
Jaclyn Bowen, Executive Director
Jaclyn Bowen is a food safety and quality systems engineer and executive director of Clean Label Project, a national non-profit with the mission to bring truth and transparency to food and consumer product labeling. Through data, science, and benchmarking, Clean Label Project uses retail sampling and testing to reveal levels of contaminants in best-selling food and consumer products. Before coming to Clean Label Project, Jaclyn held numerous technical, standards development, food safety, quality, and executive roles within the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre, NSF International. Her expertise is in organic, gluten-free, non-gmo labeling, food safety, and label claim substantiation and compliance. Bowen and Clean Label Project have appeared on NBC, ABC, Fox News, CNN, ‘The Doctors’, and 450+ print and online media outlets including USA Today and Huff Post. Bowen holds a Bachelors of Science in environmental biology, a Master of Science in quality engineering and a Master of Public Health in management and policy
Paul Isherwood, Head of Technical & Quality
Paul is Head of Technical & Quality for The SHS Group Drinks Division. He is accountable for leading the application of technical standards for the WKD, Merrydown, Shloer & Bottlegreen brands, driving and developing the Quality improvement plans and providing expertise to assist business growth and performance.
Previously he was Director Innovation & External Networks with the Nutrition category of GlaxoSmithKline, which covered the sourcing & contracting with key strategic partners for the Lucozade, Ribena, Horlicks and Maxinutrition brands.
Before GSK, Paul was Technical Director for The Virgin Drinks Group and accountabilities included global product & packaging development, innovation, quality & concentrate supply.
Prior to Virgin, Paul worked for Cott Beverages supporting the commercial team in the start-up and ongoing technical management (including NPD & quality activities) of the co-packing partners throughout Europe.
Paul started his career in soft drinks with Schweppes which became Coca-Cola & Schweppes Beverages (CCSB) and enjoyed various roles of increasing responsibility in R&D, Technical, Quality and Manufacturing over a total of 15 years.
Paul graduated with First Class Honours in Chemistry from the University of Birmingham and he gained a Masters degree in Business Administration (MBA) through a distance learning programme with Aston Business School.
He is a regular presenter and chair at external Food & Drink conferences, speaking on Quality, Food Safety, NPD, Technical and Innovation related topics.
Kevin Barker, Group Produce SME and Integrity Lead
Kevin Barker is the Group Produce SME and Integrity Lead for 2 Sisters Food Group. As Integrity Lead, the main focus has been to build and maintain a robust process for food integrity across the business, ensuring confidence in the raw materials and supply chains used.
Kevin has worked in the food industry for over 30 years and this has included roles within technical and agronomy, covering all stages of the food chain from the farm through to retail. Throughout his career Kevin has focussed on the quality, safety and integrity of the raw materials produced in primary production and across the supply chain through to the consumer.
Kevin joined the 2 Sisters Food Group in November 2019 taking responsibility for leading food integrity for the group. Prior to this has worked for the Coop, Greencore, Bakkavor, HJ Heinz and Ministry Agriculture (DEFRA).
Kevin has a BSc degree in Biological Science from the University of Portsmouth.
Simon Mills, Herbal Strategist
For many years Simon has helped to pioneer integrated approaches to health care. He led professional, regulatory and academic initiatives in the complementary health movement from its earliest days and as a herbal practitioner since 1977 is also an acknowledged authority on the therapeutics, safety and regulatory control of herbal medicines. From 2008-11 he managed a large Department of Health project exploring the role of self care in family practice that anticipated the role of social prescribing and led to a job description of the future NHS Link Worker.
In 2016 he joined the Pukka Herbs to help develop their health strategy. Pukka is a major international force for their teas, and is particularly associated with a sustainable health and wellbeing message. It also has a range of food supplements and is planning to expand further as a force for good in natural health care. A particular outcome of their support is the new self care and social prescription resource hosted by the College of Medicine at Our Health Directory (https://ourhealth.directory) that includes an updated ‘Self Care Toolkit’ created on the Department of Health project.
François Bourdichon, Chair of the Standing Committee on Microbiological Hygiene
François holds a master degree of science, major general microbiology from Pasteur Institute, Paris.
He is delegate of France at the International Dairy Federation (IDF) since 2010, and presently chair of the standing committee on microbial hygiene (SCMH), member of the food standards steering group (FSSG), the standing committees on harmonization of microbial method (SCHMM) and analytical methods for dairy micro-organisms (SCAMDM).
He represents IDF at ISO, WHO, FAO and Codex Alimentarius on food safety related topics.
Lord Deben, Chairman
The Rt. Hon John Gummer, Lord Deben, set up and now runs Sancroft, a Corporate Responsibility consultancy working with blue-chip companies around the world on environmental, social and ethical issues. Lord Deben is Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, Valpak Limited, and the Personal Investment Management & Financial Advisers Association. He was the longest serving Secretary of State for the Environment the UK has ever had (1993-97). His sixteen years of top-level ministerial experience also include Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, Minister for London, Employment Minister and Paymaster General in HM Treasury. He has consistently championed an identity between environmental concerns and business sense.
Saasha Celestial-One, Co-Founder & COO
Saasha Celestial-One is Co-Founder & COO of OLIO, a free app harnessing the power of mobile technology and the sharing economy to provide a revolutionary solution to the problem of food waste, which is the third largest contributor to the climate crisis. OLIO is growing quickly, empowered by more than 50,000 volunteers. Since 2016, 1.8 million users have successfully shared over 3.2mn portions of food in 49 countries. Before OLIO, Saasha spent 13 years at Morgan Stanley, McKinsey and American Express. Saasha has an MBA from Stanford, is mum to seven-year-old Nolan, and the proud daughter of ‘hippy’ entrepreneurs.
Tom Æ Hollands, Innovation and Technical Director
Tom Æ Hollands is the Innovation and Technical Director at Raynor Foods, he is an accomplished Food Scientist who has worked in both government (Food Standards Agency) and the private sector. Tom is a true innovator at heart and has won a number of national and international accolades in recognition of this. Tom’s innovations are focused around sustainability and has interests in meta food systems, their emerging technologies and the complex links that connect them.
Peter Whelan, Director of Audit and Investigations
Peter Whelan qualified as an Environment Health officer in 1982. He worked as an EHO, Senior EHO and Principal EHO in the Eastern Health Board and Dublin Local Authorities before taking up the post of Contracts Manager and then Director of Service Contracts in the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI). Peter then took a 5 year secondment to the post of Executive Chairman of the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority. Peter is now Director of Audit and Investigations in the FSAI where he is responsible for the investigation of food fraud. Further studies include a MSc in Food Science, UCD, MSc in Management, Trinity College, MSc in Organisation work behaviour/psychology and a BA Hons degree in Psychotherapys.
Prof. Huub Lelieveld, President
Prof. Dr. h.c. H.L.M. (Huub) Lelieveld is President of the Global Harmonization Initiative and fellow of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology. He editor or co-editor of numerous books, including “Hygiene in food processing”, the “Handbook of hygiene control in the food industry”, “Food preservation by pulsed electric fields”, “Ensuring Global Food Safety: Exploring Global Harmonization”, “Regulating Safety of Traditional and Ethnic Foods”, “Hygienic design of food factories”, ”Food safety management: a practical guide for the food industry” and “High Pressure Processing of Food – Principles, Technology and Applications”. He wrote chapters for many books and encyclopaedia, hundreds of scientific articles and articles for magazines and presented hundreds of papers, globally.
He has been awarded doctor honoris causa at the National University of Food Technologies in Kiev, Ukraine and has got several other awards in Europe and the USA.
Laura Degallaix, Director of Environmental Sustainability
Laura Degallaix holds a Master’s Degree in Biology (Diplôme d'Etudes Approfondies) from Paris XI University, and an Engineering Degree in Environment from the Ecole Polytechnique of Orléans, France. Laura joined FoodDrinkEurope in 2019. She is Director of Environmental Sustainability and manages the European food and drink industry’s positions in all relevant areas such as the circular economy, plastics and packaging, sustainable food systems, energy and resource efficiency, and climate change, among others.
Sterling Crew, Chairman of the Advisory Board
Sterling Crew is Chair of The Food Authenticity Network Advisory Board, Managing Director of SQS ltd, Strategic Advisor at Shield Safety Group and Dynamic Risk Indicator, Independent Scientific Advisor at Campden BRI and sits on its board. Sterling also sits on the audit governance board at Eurofins and is Scientific Advisor for OLIO. He Chairs the IFST Food Safety Group and is a member of the CIEH food expert panel.
He has 35 years experience of working in the field of food safety and global supply chain governance.Sterling started his career in government before a successful track history in retailing with Marks & Spencer and Tesco. He has also worked in the branded environment for Coca-Cola and Disney and two manufacturers. Sterlings experience as a regulator, retailer, brand owner and food manufacturer has given him a unique perspective of the challenges of the global food supply network and the potential benefits of blockchain.
Andrew Cannavan, Head, Food and Environmental Protection Laboratory
Andrew Cannavan is Head of the Food and Environmental Protection Laboratory of the UN’s Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture
Andrew has more than 25 years’ experience working in food safety and quality. He joined IAEA in 2001 and in his current post is involved in the development of analytical methods to support food safety and quality systems, training and technology transfer to IAEA and FAO member countries, coordination and technical management of international research and capacity building projects on food safety and authenticity, and applied research to underpin international guidelines and standards.
Dr David Psomiadis, Head of Lab/Business Development Manager
David has a PhD in isotope geochemistry with scientific background in environmental and climate research. Being a member of international research teams, David has published more than 70 contributions in scientific journals and conferences. Since 2013, he has settled in Neutal, Austria, as a member of the grounding team of Imprint Analytics. He holds a regular member position in international committees and working groups (eg. AOAC, CEN) related to food authenticity testing.
As the Head of the Laboratory, he is responsible for supervising and managing all operations related to the laboratory, planning method development to meet customer demands and reporting scientific results and interpretations to clients.
As Business Development Manager, he leads the global food authenticity business development strategy, brand development and business collaborations within global networks and international consortia, as well as he integrates the applied science into the market needs, creating new synergies, tools and solutions.
Mercedes Groba, Innovation Programme Manager
Mercedes Groba is an accomplished Innovation Programme Manager at the European Institute of Innovation & Technology in Food (EIT Food) who are committed to making the food system more sustainable, healthy and trusted. At EIT Food, she provides strategic vision and guidance for food system innovation and sustainable resource management, leading and delivering innovation at both a European and international level.
Mercedes has worked closely with national and European organisations and institutions, including the University of Oxford. As part of her 20-year career working in innovation she has worked in food safety and quality and with farmers on the importance of sustainability and environmental impact.
Mercedes holds an MA that combines Nutrition and Agricultural Engineering focussing on agri-food industries and has achieved certificates in Open Innovation and Design and Management of European programmes.
Above all, she is passionate about driving real change towards a better world for all.
Mecca Ibrahim, Co-Founder
Mecca Ibrahim was formerly Head of Marketing & Social Media at Great British Chefs – the UK’s fastest growing food website. After almost eight years in that role, Mecca (who everyone calls Mex) co-founded ‘Women In The Food Industry‘ – an initiative that shines a spotlight on the work of inspiring women in the industry.
Mex has also set up a freelance social media, marketing and content creation agency, and is a member of the Guild of Food Writers. Her expertise includes sustainability, food entrepreneurs, equality within the food industry and ethical eating.
Franck Pandiani, Global Business Manager, Food Molecular Biology
Based in France, Mr. Pandiani is the Global Manager for SGS Food Molecular. He has worked in the field of Consumer Safety for over 10 years. He has a PhD in Biochemistry & Molecular Microbiology from Université d'Avignon et des Pays de Vaucluse and a Master 2 in Biochemistry-Nutrition & Food Safety from the Université Paul Cézanne (Aix-Marseille III).
Rebeca Fernandez, Director of Food Policy, Science and R&D
Rebeca Fernández holds a Master’s Degree in Food Technology and a PhD Degree in Biology from the University of Oviedo (Spain), where she worked as a researcher, assistant lecturer and project manager. Rebeca joined FoodDrinkEurope in 2014. She is Director for Food Policy, Science and R&D and deals with food safety and food science related issues as well as relevant R&D projects to FoodDrinkEurope.
Prof. Moira Dean, Professor in Consumer Psychology and Food Security
Moira Dean is a Professor in Consumer Psychology and Food Security at QUB. She has developed a significant portfolio of research on consumer food choice in relation to food from farm to fork, climate change and the built environment with funding from the EU, ESRC, MRC, Safefood and other sources. She has carried out research into consumer food choice, food safety, Food fraud, risk perceptions and food supply chain management in the areas of organic food, beef, fish, wholegrain, portion size, healthy shopping, cooking skills and food labeling, with different stakeholders. She is experienced in qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Moira has a strong track record of publications which have been highly cited. Moira frequently works in multi-disciplinary teams, with her primary publication areas being Food, Nutrition and Dietetics, Medicine, Psychology and Public Health. Moira is ranked above average according to FWCI for the topic areas of Food literacy, Food safety, Food consumption and Self-management education. Moira has been invited to present research findings to a variety of audiences including industry, policymakers and practitioners both nationally and internationally.
Lee Holdstock, Senior Business & Trade Development Manager
Benefiting from more than 20 years of experience in food and textile business development, Lee is a trusted expert in sustainability, responsible business and organics who manages a range of projects for Soil Association Certification - the UK's biggest organic certifier. By helping hundreds of businesses build capability in marketing, communications, supply chain and routes to market, Lee’s team at Soil Association Certification actively support the growth of an organic market, now worth more than £2B a year.
Frederik Hendriksen, VP of International Sales
Frederik Hendriksen is VP of International Sales at Mile High Labs. He grew up in a small town in north western Denmark, moving to Copenhagen Business School for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. During this time he took the opportunity to work in Japan, China, Zambia and London, where he settled in 2014. He joined Morgan Stanley doing Equity Trading and M&A, fast tracking to Vice President and being selected for the most prestigious talent programme MS offers.
Fred resigned from his banking job in early 2019 to join Mile High Labs, the world's leading CBD extractor, building and managing sales for all non-US markets. The company is leading the way in ensuring compliance within the current regulatory framework. MHL is also investing heavily in R&D, working closely with a range of top universities to ensure the highest standards of consumer safety and develop a range of new products.
Keith Wesnes, Professor
Since graduating in 1973 with First Class BSc Honours in Experimental Psychology from Reading University, Keith Wesnes has specialised in the automated measurement of cognitive function. His PhD into the cholinergic bases of human attention led him in the early 1970s to automate tests of major aspects of cognition, in order to detect subtle improvements or impairments. In the early 1980s he developed the CDR System, a computerised set of tests to assess cognitive function in clinical trials with volunteers to virtually any clinical population. From 1986 until late 2009 the CDR System was used in research worldwide as a professional scientific service to the clinical trial industry, by his privately held company, Cognitive Drug Research Ltd. For the last 30 years, it has been the most widely used system of its type, for measuring change in cognitive function in clinical research. The company received a variety of international accolades, most notably the UK’s most prestigious recognition, The Queen’s Award for Enterprise - in 2002 for one of the major categories, International Trade, and was the only company to receive a second the following year, this time for the other major category Innovation.
Keith also holds a number of academic positions:
• Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Exeter Medical School (since 2016)
• Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia (since 2007)
• Visiting Professor at the Medicinal Plant Research Group, Newcastle University, UK (since 2015)
He has previously held academic positions at Indiana University, Reading University, Guy’s Hospital Medical School, University of East London and Bristol University. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society in 1983, a Chartered Psychologist in 1988, and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society in 1989. He has over 300 peer-reviewed publications and 9 students have received PhDs under his supervision
Ciara Sarsfield, Project Manager
Ms. Ciara Sarsfield is a qualified project manager with a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Project Leader certification. Ms. Sarsfield is a mathematics graduate and MBA qualified professional with over ten years’ practical industry experience which includes project manager roles within the higher education sector, advanced manufacturing industry and IT industry.
Ms. Sarsfield has managed large multi-partner Regional (Invest NI), National (Innovate UK) and other EU (from EIT and H2020) funded projects. Ciara runs the day-to-day management of a research portfolio totalling £6.8million of funds including financial management, reporting and resourcing – personnel and physical. Ms. Sarsfield administratively leads on a flagship Sino–European project with €6.3million funding across 33 partner organisations spanning four years (EU-China-Safe) as well as being involved in coordinating Marie Curie Initial Training Network project for 12 Early Stage Researchers (FoodSmartphone).
Dr. Hazel Gowland, Expert patient, Trainer and Researcher
Hazel has had severe allergies to nuts and peanuts since early childhood. She was involved in shaping the Anaphylaxis Campaign from 1994 and established Allergy Action as a research and training consultancy in 2000. She investigates fatal and ‘near miss’ allergic reactions, providing guidance and family support, supplying data to UK Fatal Anaphylaxis Registry and undertaking research examining regulatory aspects of consumer protection for those at risk.
She lectures on university Allergy and Nutrition programmes and continues to shape and deliver allergen management consultancy and training with leading suppliers, manufacturers, caterers and a wide range of food business operators including schools, universities, hospitals and care workplaces. She is a member of the Scientific Committee of the IFST and the Food Special Interest Group of the RSPH, and has recently been appointed as to the island of Ireland Safefood Knowledge Network Expert Group.
Eric Jamin, Business Unit Manager
Eric Jamin has been working for Eurofins Scientific in Nantes since 1995.
After an initial PhD research work on stable isotope analysis of fruit and tobacco, he has been involved in quality assurance, client support and Research & Development in food analytical chemistry. He has taken part in more than 45 scientific papers so far.
He is currently head of the Authenticity Competence Centre of Eurofins Scientific laboratories, based in Nantes (France). His team involves ca 60 staff members, with expert skills in Stable isotopes, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Mass Spectrometry, wet chemistry, and chromatography analyses of beverages and other food products tested for authenticity.
Reginald Bevan, National Food Crime Unit
Reg has more than 30 years policing experience at strategic and operational levels in both crime and territorial policing. This has included many varied and challenging roles, such as Detective Superintendent and Wales Lead for serious and organised crime.
He has also worked with Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary as a lead staff officer, responsible for inspecting the forces in the South West of England as well as Deputy Director, leading the Immigration Enforcement team in Wales between 2013-2014.
As an Senior Investigating Officer he was involved in investigations ranging from murder, rape, drug trafficking, corruption and money laundering, as well as having involvement with many Food Standards Agency colleagues in the response to the horse-meat incident. He is currently the deputy head of the recently created National Food Crime Unit which forms part of the FSA.