Session Speakers Speakers

Dr Rachel Marshall (Chair)

N8 AgriFood Knowledge Exchange Fellow, Lancaster University

Rachel Marshall is an N8 AgriFood knowledge exchange fellow developing sustainable food systems research and collaborations. She is particularly interested in developing meaningful engagement between academic institutions and stakeholders, at both local and national levels, to support the transition to more sustainable and resilient food systems. She is currently providing knowledge exchange expertise to projects spanning the food system from soil health and farmer knowledge to urban sustainable food chains to the circular economy of nutrients.

Professor Bob Doherty (Chair)

Professor of Marketing and Chair in AgriFood.

Bob Doherty is Professor of Marketing and Chair in Agrifood at The York Management School, University of York.  He is also principal investigator on a large 4-year interdisciplinary research programme (£3.4m) awarded in 2016 on food systems resilience titled ‘IKnowFood’, funded by the Global Food Security Fund. He is also Co-Investigator on the ESRC grant ‘Sustainable Consumption, the Middle Classes and Agri-food Ethics in the Global South’ and has developed an institutional link with Chiang Mai University, through the Newton Fund Grant ‘Pathways to transformation of small-scale agriculture in the Mekong Region’. Recently, Bob has been seconded as a policy fellow into UK Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on a new science research programme launched to inform DEFRA policy making:

Professor Mark Reed (Chair)

Professor of Socio-Technical Innovation and Director of Engagement & Impact in the School of Agriculture, Food & Rural Development , Newcastle University,

Mark Reed is a Professor of Socio-Technical Innovation and Director of Engagement & Impact in the School of Agriculture, Food & Rural Development at Newcastle University, in a Research England funded Chair as part of N8 AgriFood. I am based at the Institute for Agri-Food Research & Innovation and the Centre for Rural Economy. I am a Visiting Professor at University of Leeds and Birmingham City University. I am Research Manager for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) UK Peatland Programme and a member of IUCN’s international Committee on Ecosystem Management. I run a spin-out company, based on my research, training researchers how to embed impact in their research at:

Dr Anna Krzywoszynska (Chair)

Faculty Research Fellow Geography, The University of Sheffield

Anna Krzywoszynska is a Faculty of Social Sciences Research Fellow. She is also an Associate Director at the University of Sheffield Institute for Sustainable Food. Her research concerns agriculture and food as the key spheres for the interaction between human and more-than-human worlds. She is especially interested in environmental knowledge, ethics, and affect, and how these shape and are shaped by rural and food-related spaces and practices. Her work engages frequently with the natural sciences. Consequently, her research also investigates the potential for ‘opening up’ the spaces of scientific knowledge production to non-certified expertise, as well as challenging the persistent division of labour between social and natural sciences in speaking about materiality, life, and ecology. For the last few years Anna has been exploring the reconceptualization of soils as lively ecosystems in conventional agricultural practice and its related knowledge fields, and the consequences of this for the future of agriculture and land use.

Anna graduated in European Social and Political Studies, specialising in Anthropology, at University College London (2002), and obtained her PhD degree in Geography at the University of Sheffield (2012). She then held a position as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the department of Geography, Durham University, as part of a transdisciplinary project funded by the EPSRC. During that time she also worked as an ESRC Nexus Network-funded Fellow at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Anna’s research to date has engaged with key sustainability themes, including food production and consumption (PhD), renewable energy (PDRA), and waste and sustainability (PhD).

Dr Diogo Souza- Monteiro (Chair)

Senior Lecturer in Agribusiness, Newcastle University

Dr Diogo Souza-Monteiro is a Senior Lecturer in Agribusiness Management at the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences (SNES) at Newcastle University, where he led and restructured the Agribusiness Management program between 2015 and 2017 and founded the Food Business Management and Marketing Program in 2017. He is also a member of the International committee of School of Natural and Environmental Sciences and the School lead for theme 2 (Resilient Supply Chains) for the N8 AgriFood Program. Diogo also serves as Chair of the Mentoring committee of the Agricultural and Applied Economists Association in the United States.

Diogos expertise is in food marketing and applied economics. His research program aims to understand how to coordinate and assure food quality attributes from farm to fork. Specifically, his research has two main streams: first he investigates how consumers use quality labels (such as nutrition, origin and ethical) in their purchasing choices. Some of this research was funded by the British Academy and investigated how digital technologies may be used to help consumers choosing healthier food baskets. Diogos second line of research investigates the role of information in supply chain coordination. A recent project, funded by the French National Institute for Agronomic Research and the University of Grenoble, investigated how monitoring and alternative payment schemes decreased the proportion of labelling fraud in collective reputation labels. I use applied econometrics methods to analyse experimental and survey data in my empirical research. He has also consulted for the European Commission and to the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (UK). Diogos work has been published in the leading outlets in agricultural economics and food marketing such as the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, European Review of Agricultural Economics and Food Policy.


Dr Lingxuan Liu (Chair)

Lecturer in Sustainability, Lancaster University

Dr Lingxuan Liu is a Lecturer of Sustainability in Pentland Centre, Lancaster University and a practitioner on sustainable supply chain management. He has experience in environmental NGOs and sustainability related consultancy. His recent funded project focuses on urban agriculture and urban food systems, and the sustainability and resilience issues within those topics. He is also Research Director of Lancaster University China Centre. His research covers various topics such as sustainable agri-food system, supplier development, circular economy, and comparative environmental governance.

Professor Lisa Collins (Chair)

Professor of Animal Science, University of Leeds

Lisa Collins is Professor of Animal Science at the University of Leeds. Her research focuses on the development and application of epidemiological methods, systems modelling and statistical approaches for the study of animal health and welfare. She has a particular interest in developing smart systems approaches to solve complex agricultural challenges. She uses multi-scalar approaches to understand problems from both top-down and bottom-up perspectives; and has developed a novel line of enquiry into factors that lead to important and significant differences between individuals which result in differential risk of exposure to, or subsequent development of, a health problem. Lisa is PI on PIGSustain, a £2.06M Global Food Security programme grant, funded by BBSRC, NERC, ESRC and the Scottish government.

Lisa serves on advisory, funding and academic society councils and strategy groups, including BBSRC Committee A and BBSRC Animal Welfare Research Network coordination group, and previously on the Dog Advisory Council, ASAB council, and European Food Safety Authority groups. In 2014, she received the British Science Association Charles Darwin Award for excellence in science communication, and in 2010, the UFAW Young Animal Welfare Scientist of the Year awa

Professor Jason Halford (Chair)

Chair in Biological Psychology and Health Behaviour, Head of Department Psychological Sciences, The University of Liverpool

Professor Jason Halford is Head of the Department of Psychological Sciences at the University of Liverpool, former Chair of the UK Association for the Study of Obesity – ASO (, and Treasurer of the European Association of Obesity (EASO). He is a Chartered Health Psychologist. His early research focused on anti-obesity drugs and appetite and this has progressed to the behavioural assessment of potential anti-obesity drugs in early clinical development. Over the past 10 years his research has focused on drug-induced weight gain, the effects of nutrients and fibre on appetite and hormone release, the effects of stress on eating behaviour, the effect of marketing of children, and on lean-obese differences in the expression of appetite. In 1999 he co-founded the Human Ingestive Behaviour Laboratory at Liverpool and in 2004 he also cofounded the Liverpool Obesity Research Network (LORN). Professor Halford is the co-ordinator of the 8 million Euro EU Framework Seven Satiety Innovation SATIN project ( to develop novel foods for appetite control using novel processing technologies to alter food structure. He is also a leading scientist on the WRAP trial investigating the role of commercial weight management providers in primary care and the lead investigator on a new trial to examine the impact of artificial sweeteners on appetite in the context of active weight management.

Professor Arpana Verma (Chair)

Clinical Professor of Public health and Epidemiology, The University of Manchester

Dr Arpana Verma is Head of the Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care. She is Director of Manchester Urban Collaboration on Health (MUCH) a WHO Collaborating Centre and honorary Consultant in Public Health at PHE. MUCH is based within the School of Health Sciences in the Faculty of Biology, Medical and Human Sciences. MUCH performs high quality research, teaching and training, in the field of public health and has established links to local, national and international public health organisations ( MUCH was recently designated the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Health Indicators including working as part of the European Health Information Initiative and the Global Report on Urban Health.

Dr Verma is currently the Programme Director for the Masters in Public Health and MRes in Public Health/Primary Care online/blended distance learning course, which offers an innovative approach to learning, meeting the training needs for health professionals interested in a career in public health or those seeking new skills in this area.

Dr Jo Harrold (Chair)

Head of Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Liverpool

Dr Joanne Harrold is a Senior Lecturer in Appetite and Obesity in the Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Liverpool. She is a behavioural neuroendocrinologist with an interest in the processes involved in food intake and energy balance. Her research covers a broad spectrum of the control of the appetite system from preclinical models through to man. Her early research characterised the homeostatic and hedonic control systems within the brain before progressing to examine pharmacological, dietary and psychological manipulations of human eating behaviour. She has carried out a number of weight management interventions including involvement in the WRAP trial investigating the role of commercial weight management providers in primary care. Recently, her research has focused on early eating experiences and the development of dietary behaviour. Joanne is Director of the Human Ingestive Behaviour Laboratory where she has established an Infant feeding laboratory. Here studies examine the development of food preferences in children and in particular the impact of prenatal nutrition, maternal feeding style and parental feeding practices. The laboratory also handles proof-of-concept studies and interventions for the food and beverage sectors. Joanne participated in the EU FP7 Satiety Innovation SATIN project to develop novel foods for appetite control using novel processing technologies to alter food structure and is currently a lead on the SWITCH trial examining the impact of artificial sweeteners on appetite in the context of appetite weight management and the EU H2020 SWEET trial examining the impact of sweeteners and sweetness enhancers on health, obesity, safety and sustainability.Joanne contributed to European regulatory work on the scientific substantiation of health claims as a scientific expert on EFSA’s sub-working group on weight management, glucose and insulin control, and physical performance.

Professor Tim Daniell (Chair)

N8 Chair in Soil Microbiology, The University of Sheffield

After a PhD in Warwick and post-docs in Durham, Lancaster and York Tim took up a Principal Investigator position at the Scottish Crop Research Institute (now James Hutton Institute) in Dundee in 2000 as a research lead in soil ecology and later Theme Leader in Sustainable Production Systems (2013-16).  At the Institute he developed a group focusing on soil ecology, especially in linking activity to the dynamics of the relevant microbial groups. In 2016 he became ‘Professor of Soil Microbiology’ at the University of Sheffield maintaining a 30% position at the Hutton. His current research focuses mainly on:The interaction between plants and soil function, Arbuscular mycorrhizal ecology andThe application of nematode dynamics as a measure of soil health.

Associate Professor Shane Hamilton

Senior Lecturer, The York Management School

Shane Hamilton is Senior Lecturer in Management at The York Management School, University of York. He is the author of Supermarket USA: Food and Power in the Cold War Farms Race (Yale, 2018) and award-winning Trucking Country: The Road to America’s Wal-Mart Economy (Princeton, 2008). He is associate editor of Enterprise & Society and co-editor of American Business, Politics, and Society (University of Pennsylvania Press). He has published articles on food and agribusiness in Technology & Culture, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, History of Retailing and Consumption, Enterprise & Society, Business History Review, and Agricultural History.

Professor Tim Hess

Professor of Water and Food Systems at the Cranfield Water Science Institute, Cranfield University

Tim Hess is Professor of Water and Food Systems at the Cranfield Water Science Institute, Cranfield University, UK. He has an internationally distinguished research profile on water-related risk and water footprinting in agrifood systems built around a strong track-record of research on the relationship between agriculture, food production and the water. He is recognised as an interdisciplinary research scientist, bringing together areas of natural and social sciences to address real-world problems associated with agrifood systems. Recently, his work has focused on the field of water footprinting and water-related risk, particularly in the agriculture, food and beverage sector. He is leading the UK GFS project ‘Increasing resilience to water-related risk in the UK fresh fruit & vegetable system’. He has worked on several projects considering; the contribution of water footprinting to national food policy; benchmarking irrigation water use amongst farmers and growers; and evaluating new technologies for agricultural water management. He represented the UK on the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) Expert Group on Water Footprinting and was co-author of the International Standard (ISO14046) and an editor for the supporting technical report (ISO/TR14073). He is a member of the Water Footprinting Technical Advisory Group for the Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance partnership of the UN Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Lee Ayu Chuepa

Co-founder and proprietor Akha Ama Coffee, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Lee Ayu chuepa was established Akha Ama Coffee as Social Enterprise in 2010.

His enterprise was granted by Social Entrepreneurship Grant operated under Child’s Dream Foundation. He started to work with his people in indigenous community to enhance the quality of economy, education and environment through coffee business. He is now running 3 coffee shops, 1 roastery, 1 coffee warehouse and The Akha Ama Living factory as learning space in Chiang Mai, north of Thailand.

Dr Megan Blake

Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, The University of Sheffield

Megan Blake is a recognised expert in food security and food justice. She is a Sr. Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Sheffield. She has an established international reputation for her research focusing on 3 intersecting strands: 1) Surplus food chains and practices of redistribution 2) Community organisations, social innovation and self-organisation, and practices of resilience 3) Social inequalities. Her work is underpinned by a practice-based theoretical approach. She works closely with local and national scale organisations and local authorities to achieve research impacts that make real change. She is actively involved in public dissemination and has organised and facilitated a number of community engagement events and conferences, has been an invited commentator on national and international TV and radio programmes, and has published in and been quoted by national and international press.

She is the creator of Food Ladders, which is a multi-scaled and asset-based approach that uses food to increase everyday food security, connect communities and increase local resilience by reducing vulnerability. Her film, More than just food, illustrates the ways in which community-based food ladders can change places.

Professor Pippa Chapman

Chair in Biogeochemistry, University of Leeds

Pippa Chapman is Professor of Biogeochemistry at the School of Geography, University of Leeds, and works in the interdisciplinary field of land and water management. Her research focuses on the impacts of land use, atmospheric pollution and climate change on soil nutrient cycling, greenhouse gas emissions, water quality and the provision of ecosystem services. Since 2015 she has been involved in a number of research projects at the University of Leeds farm which aim to create more resilient and sustainable farming systems. She has experience of building strategic partnerships with stakeholders and led knowledge exchange activities and events to deliver maximum impact. She is currently the water quality lead for the Yorkshire Integrated Catchment Solutions Programme (iCASP) £6M NERC funded programme which aims to generate benefits for Yorkshire by applying environmental science to catchment challenges

Professor Les Firbank

Chair in Sustainable Agriculture, University of Leeds

Les Firbank is an ecologist at the University of Leeds researching into interactions between farming and the environment, where he focuses on the meaning and measurement of agricultural sustainability. He is increasingly promoting urban food systems at Leeds, through the Leeds Food Partnership which leads the development of the Leeds Food Strategy. He was N8 AgriFood Theme 1 lead 2015-2017, and is Speciality Editor for Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems on Sustainable Intensification and Ecosystem Services.

David Speller

CEO, Applied Group/OPTIFarm

Starting with the one farm of 160,000 broilers in 2004 David has built a business that today is contract farming multiple sites and is now farming 1.6M birds at any one time. David has always adopted new thinking to existing challenges from the start and is recognised as one of the world’s leading authorities on poultry technologies and digital solutions.

In addition to farming poultry David and his company Applied are involved in extensive research and innovation projects both in the UK and internationally, ensuring that innovation and new thinking remains at the core of his business. Current projects are focused on early disease detection, microbiome management and in shed robotic platforms.

As a way of sharing his knowledge and assisting other companies globally David has established the world’s only 24/7 support and optimisation centre that actively monitors and assists poultry facilities globally. The service is truly unique and is known as OPTIFarm. It is utilised by many poultry businesses to improve performance, support and train farm staff and monitor welfare.

Dr Ben Richardson

Dr Ben Richardson is Associate Professor in International Political Economy in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick. His research is on international trade and sustainable development, with a focus on agricultural commodities. His most recent book is Sugar (Polity: Cambridge, 2015).

Dr Charlotte Hardman (Co-Chair)

Dr Charlotte Hardman is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Liverpool. Her research focuses on the psychology of food-related behaviour and the application of this knowledge to interventions for healthy diets. Her current work is examining the transformative potential for urban food growing in terms of a healthy, sustainable and resilient food system (“Rurban Revolution”). In other externally funded work (European Commission Horizon 2020), she is working with 28 partners from across Europe to investigate the consequences of sugar replacement in foods and beverages. She has published over 50 peer-reviewed papers in high-impact journals such as JAMA Psychiatry, Nature Reviews Endocrinology and the International Journal of Obesity. She co-ordinates the North West Network for the Association for the Study of Obesity and is an advisory editor for the journal Appetite.

Dr Beth Brockett

Senior Specialist, Natural England

Beth currently works in an interdisciplinary team supporting the development of the new Environmental Land Management system. She has a particular interest in the role of advice and working with different forms of knowledge to promote sustainable land management. Beth’s background is in social science, ecology and soil science and she has previously worked as a farm conservation advisor, an interdisciplinary academic researcher and as a community development practitioner. Beth has published in a range of peer-reviewed journals, a Parliamentary briefing paper and for specialist magazines.


Leon Ballin

Network Manager, Sustainable Food Cities

Leon Ballin has been enabling sustainable food activity for over 10 years. He is the Network Manager for Sustainable Food Cities taking a place-based, cross-sector & whole food system approach to food policy. Previously he has worked as a Senior Programme Manager at Soil Association Food for Life and delivered the East Midlands programme of Sustain’s Food Coops programme. After graduating from City University with a Food Policy MSc Leon was chair of the arts & food activist organisation Grow Sheffield which developed the now UK wide Abundance initiative.

Steve Caan

Director, Future Food Solutions

Following an earlier career undertaking commercial roles for large PLC’s, working both in the UK and internationally. He became a founding Director of Future Food Solutions Ltd a business consultancy delivering sustainability focused projects, that encourage commercial benefits for all supply chain partners in both the UK and overseas.

Future Food Solutions is currently collaborating with Global brands, Utilities, farmers, food manufacturers and other partners, working on the close connection between soil health, water quality and long-term supply chain resilience.

Dr Ben Neimark

Senior Lecturer, Lancaster University

Benjamin Neimark is a Senior Lecturer at the Lancaster Environment Centre; Lancaster University, UK, and an Associate Researcher at ESPOL.

He is a human geographer and political ecologist (defined as the intersections of ecology and a broadly defined political economy) whose research focuses on politics of biological conservation and resource extraction (bio-/green economy), high-value commodity chains, smallholder production, agrarian change and development. Although he has a geographic focus on Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, his research also focuses on the US military as a global climate actor.

Ben teaches on a wide array of subjects from global food politics, sustainable development, to human geography theory. He leads a field course in Paris on ‘globalizing food,’ and a seminal course on geographies of environment and development. Ben is also provides instrumental training on applied research methods at the Master’s and PhD level.

Ben has a PhD form Rutgers University and a Master’s from Cornell University. He is an Associate Director for Engagement at the Pentland Centre for Sustainable Business and formally a fellow at the Institute of Social Futures (ISF), Lancaster University. He is part of the Political Ecology Research Group and leads the Secretariat for the International Political Ecology Network (POLLEN).

Andy Griffiths

Head of Value Chain Sustainability, Nestle

Andy is Head of Value Chain Sustainability for Nestlé’s UK&I businesses, responsible for the development and delivery of the Environmental Sustainability strategy both within the operation and across the value chain.

He has worked for Nestlé UK&I for over 20 years, originally in operational and engineering roles. He is both a chartered environmentalist (FIEMA) and a chartered engineer (MIET) and is focused on bringing together the engineering expertise, operational experience and environmental insights of the organisation alongside collaborative partnerships with academia and key delivery partners to develop and implement robust and effective sustainability programmes.

Dr Paul Christiansen

School of Psychology, The University of Liverpool

Dr Christiansen is an experimental psychologist and statistician who has been researching unhealthy decision making for ten years. His focus is on unconscious cognitive processes and how they drive unhealthy behaviour. He also explores how these process are moderated by underlying personality and motivational constructs as well as situational factors. He has published over fifty-peer reviewed research articles on these subjects. He has received funding for this work UK research councils, charity, and industry. In addition to this he has worked as a statistician on a range of projects funded by UK (Home Office, National Crime Agency) and US (FBI, CIA) government agencies.

Lucy Antal

Project Manager Sustainable Food, The Food Domain

Lucy Antal is a sustainable food adviser for The Food Domain, a network partnership enabling new relationships to develop between academics, NGOs, communities, businesses and the public sector. She is the NW project manager for Feedback Global’s Regional Food Economy. Lucy is a research associate at the University of Liverpool, and a member of the International Commission on the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition. She is an external examiner for food and nutrition students at Liverpool John Moores University, and is involved with several N8 research projects.

Sue Davies MBE

Strategic Policy Partner, WHICH?

Sue Davies, Strategic Policy Partner at Which?, leads the organisation’s policy work on food issues. She is also responsible for Which?’s wider work on Brexit, trade policy and the consumer landscape, including general product safety. She has represented consumer interests on a range of national and international committees. She was the Chair of the European Food Safety Authority from 2012-2016 and has been awarded an MBE in recognition of her work on food safety.

Professor Tim Lang

Professor of Food Policy, City University of London

Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy, Centre for Food Policy, City University of London, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB, UK Tel: +44-(0)20-7040-8798 email:

Tim Lang is Professor of Food Policy at City University of London’s Centre for Food Policy. Hill farming in Lancashire UK in the 1970s formed his interest in the relationship between food, health, environment, culture and political economy. He is co-author of Sustainable Diets (2017), Food Wars (2015), Unmanageable Consumer (2015), Ecological Public Health (2012) and Food Policy (2009). He was policy lead on the EAT-Lancet Commission proposing the planetary diet (The Lancet, Jan 16, 2019). His new book on the UK food system will be published by Penguin in early 2020.

Alex Maitland

Policy Officer for the Future of Business Initiative, Oxfam

Alex Maitland leads Oxfam’s Future of Business Initiative which challenges the shareholder-first business model, presenting a positive vision for dignified work in a fairer economy. He works with policy makers, academics, business leaders and investors to identify how the barriers to fairer business models can be overcome. He was policy adviser to Oxfam’s Executive Director during her participation in the ILO Global Commission on the Future of Work and content lead for Oxfam’s involvement in the ASEAN World Economic Forum. He has developed procurement tools for Oxfam trading, led on corporate governance policy advocacy in the UK and is currently working on promoting social enterprises in South and South East Asia.

Alex has an MSc in Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability from Birkbeck and a BA in Politics and Philosophy from Cardiff. He formerly worked for the corporate governance think-tank Tomorrow’s Company and has consulted for multi-national corporations on their sustainability strategies.

Dr Raymond Obayi

Researcher and assistant professor in Project, Operations, and Supply Chain Management, The University of Manchester

Raymond Obayi works as a researcher and assistant professor in Project, Operations, and Supply Chain Management at the University of Manchester Alliance Business School. He holds a Master’s degree in Purchasing and Supply Chain Management from Aberdeen, and a doctorate in Operations and Supply Chain Management from Sheffield. Prior to joining academia, he worked in the fields of retail and investment banking operations and project risk management. His is currently involved in multi-disciplinary research projects in the agro- sector exploring varieties of federated supply chain governance models and the smart contracts in food quality management, supply chain risk management, and value stream management.

Professor Jane K Hill

Resilient Ecosystems Research Theme Leader, York Environmental Sustainability Institute (YESI)

Jane’s research examines the impacts of climate change and habitat loss on biodiversity, and explores ways of designing more resilient landscapes that produce food (e.g. palm oil) whilst reducing biodiversity losses. Jane is a trustee of the SE Asia Rainforest Research Partnership (SEARRP), and a trustee and member of Council of the British Ecological Society. She received a Marsh/ZSL Award for Conservation Biology in 2011 and is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society. 

Eric Anderson

Senior Agronomist, Scottish Agronomy

Eric Anderson took a BSc (Hons) in Agriculture at the University of Aberdeen.  He first worked as a consultant with ADAS in England for 9 years before joining SAC in Scotland for a further 10 years. He is now the Potato Specialist and Senior Agronomist for Scottish Agronomy Ltd, providing strategic consultancy and applied research to a large, UK-wide and international client base.  Eric has a wealth of practical knowledge in soil management, arable crop and grassland agronomy with over thirty four years of experience providing consultancy to commercial and farm businesses in the UK, Egypt, Japan, U.S.A., Hungary, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Poland. He is a Director of Scottish Agronomy Ltd.  Scottish Agronomy Ltd is the leading organisation in Scotland devoted to the provision of impartial advice to arable farmers. Scottish Agronomy Ltd member client base includes in excess of 6,500 Ha of potatoes as well as 50,000 Ha of cereals.


Chris Thompson

Head of Marketing and Sales, Cafe Direct

After completing a BSC (Hons) in Agri-Food Marketing & Business Studies at Harper Adams University, Chris spent three years in the fresh produce industry, working with both UK and International growers to market a range of produce to the UK supermarkets from Spain, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Guatemala and Thailand.

Pursuing his passion for marketing & wine(!), Chris joined the US wine giant E. & J. Gallo Winery, dubbed the ‘University of the wine business’ to lead the marketing in Northern Europe. This was followed by Head of Marketing (Europe) for Fosters Wine Estates (now part of Treasury Wine Estates ) and the re-launch of the iconic Wolf Blass wine brand from Australia. Having  led The Wine Group as European Managing Director, Chris swapped the security of a large corporate for an entrepreneurial start-up within the artisan coffee business, becoming an owner and Managing Director of Paddy & Scott’s Coffee. Taking his learnings from the wine business and applying them to the coffee sector, the company grew  quickly over his tenure to be one of the fastest growing coffee brands in the UK with listings in major grocery accounts as well as branded coffee bars in corporate head offices.

Following the development of another coffee brand and various consultancy roles in the hot beverage and alcoholic beverage sector, Chris joined Café Direct in 2019 as Head of Sales and Marketing. Commenting on the new role, Chris says, ‘I am delighted to join Café Direct at this exciting time, a brand with incredibly strong credentials in sourcing great products in an ethical and sustainable way. A unique business model, giving 50% of profits back to growers through Producers Direct, proving that business can be a force for good.

Tim Aldred

Head of Policy, The Fairtrade Foundation

Tim Aldred has been Head of Policy at the Fairtrade Foundation since 2013. The Fairtrade Foundation is the UK member of Fairtrade International. His career prior to Fairtrade includes work for CAFOD and Progressio on international development programmes and policy.

Jack Farmer

Co-founder & Director, LettUs Grow

Jack Farmer is the Co-Founder and Director of LettUs Grow, a start-up using innovative aeroponic technology to design the next-generation of indoor farms. Their mission is to reduce the waste and carbon footprint of fresh produce by empowering anyone to grow delicious food near its point of consumption. He’s a passionate advocate for the use of social enterprise, policy and a circular economy to bring about a more sustainable future. Jack specialises in controlled environment agriculture and its ability to reduce agricultural pressures upon natural ecosystems.

Tom Curtis

Innovations Partner, 3Keel

Tom is a founding Partner of 3Keel LLP, a sustainability advice company working globally on risk and resilience within natural resource value chains.  His background is in forestry and mixed estate management, and he specialises in developing new approaches to land enterprise.  A current focus is the Landscape Enterprise Networks (LENs) approach, mentioned in the Government’s 25-year plan for the environment.   In addition to his work at 3Keel, Tom is Chair of Trustees at the Soil Association Land Trust, is on the organising committee for Food and Farming Consultations at St George’s House.

Dr Maddy Power

Research Fellow, The University of York

Dr Power is an expert on food poverty and food insecurity. She has published widely on food insecurity in developed countries; food aid, including food banks; and food insecurity and food aid in relation to social determinants of health more broadly. She is Chair of the York Food Justice Alliance, a cross-sector partnership working to understand and tackle food insecurity at the local level, and Co-Chair of the Independent Food Aid Network, a representative body of independent food aid providers.

Emma Strachan

Advanced Health Improvement Specialist (Food and Nutrition), Leeds City Council

Emma is a Health Improvement Specialist working on Food and Nutrition in Leeds. Emma’s role involves contributing and advising on the development and implementation of local food work,
ensuring the implementation of Public Health policies, strategies and work programmes. Emma is responsible for the Local Authority’s commissioning of adult cooking skills programmes and
contribution to Leeds Food Approach. Currently Emma is working with the Leeds Food Partnership to develop a city wide strategic approach to food building on the Sustainable Food Cities achievement in June 2019 and supporting the Council to implement Food Active’s Healthy Weight Declaration. Emma has work on a range of food projects at both a strategic and operational level including Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food, the 5 a day programme and led the implementation of many food related campaigns.

Professor Barbara Stewart-Knox

Professor of Psychology, University of Bradford

Barbara’s research interests are concerned with understanding food related behaviour and span consumer food choice (including sensory factors), nutrient/food mediated psychological functions and attitudes toward food and
eating. Most recently, interests have focussed on understanding the public perspective and consumer response to personalised nutrition. Barbara has been part of several large EU projects the most recent of which was the EU Food4Me project which employed a mixed-method design to understand public perceptions and attitudes toward personalised nutrition as well as psychological response to the personalised nutrition internet–based intervention. The research results are relevant to dietary health promotion and to the food and health industry.

Dr Sofia Vasilopoulou

Senior Lecturer in Politics, The University of York

Sofia Vasilopoulou (PhD LSE) is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of York. Her work examines political dissatisfaction with democracy and democratic institutions across Europe. The findings of her research feed into debates about democratic legitimacy, accountability and representation in Europe and the European Union. Her work appears in the European Journal of  political Research, Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of European Public Policy, European Union Politics, West European Politics, Government and Opposition, Nations and Nationalism, South European Society and Politics, among others. She has authored Far Right Parties and Euroscepticism: Patterns of Opposition (ECPR Press and Rowman & Littlefield 2018) and co-authored The Golden Dawn’s Nationalist Solution: Explaining the rise of the far right in Greece (Palgrave Macmillan 2015).  She is the co-editor of the European Journal of Political Research and the convenor of the ECPR Standing group on Political Parties.

Sarah Wakefield

Sustainable Sourcing & Fairtrade Manager, Co-op

Sarah has oversight of the Co-op food’s sourcing standards for their 30 key ingredients, from palm oil to cocoa. She is part of the team who has developed the Co-op’s Future of Food 2030 vision and co-chairs the Courtauld 2025 Water Ambition. She has had a passion for trade justice and Fairtrade since setting up a campaign group in school and still believes that we can make a difference to the world around us through the purchasing decisions we make.

Anna Taylor OBE

Executive Director, Food Foundation

Anna joined the Food Foundation as its first Executive Director at the beginning of June 2015, having previously led the policy team on nutrition at DFID and worked for a number of international organisations including Save the Children and UNICEF. She has been at the forefront of international leadership on nutrition for several years and in May 2017 Anna became a member of the London Food Board to advise the Mayor of London and the GLA on the food matters that affect Londoners.

Dr Judith Krauss

Post Doctoral Researcher, University of Sheffield

Judith Krauss is a post-doctoral researcher at the Sheffield Institute for International Development, University of Sheffield, following a PhD and lectureship at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester. Building on prior experience working in public sector, private sector and civil society, her PhD researched cocoa sustainability initiatives with an environmental focus connecting Latin America and Europe, investigating value-chain stakeholder priorities across cocoa farmers, cooperatives, companies and consumers. More recently, she has also begun research on convivial conservation strategies.

Dr Anna Macready

Associate Professor in Consumer Behaviour and Marketing, The University of Reading

Dr Anna Macready is an Associate Professor and Programme Director for BSc Consumer Behaviour and Marketing at the University of Reading. As a Psychologist and Registered Public Health Nutritionist, Anna is particularly interested in the factors and mechanisms underpinning consumer trust and dietary behaviour change to support consumer health and sustainability in the food system. Recent research projects include Food4Me, an EU FP7 funded project focusing on personalised nutrition as a vehicle for promoting healthy dietary behaviour change. Anna’s current work, funded by EIT Food, focuses on consumer trust, attitudes and solutions to food waste, and sustainable diets.

Dr Tracie Evans

Head of Natural Science, Environmental Land Management, DEFRA

Tracie currently leads the natural science workstream within an interdisciplinary evidence team supporting the design and development of the new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme. Their workstream comprises a wide range of expertise including climate change science, hydrology and ecology. As a workstream they are responsible for providing cross-cutting evidence to support policy decisions including: which environmental outcomes we should pay for in ELM; how environmental outcomes can be delivered and how we can monitor change in environmental outcomes and thus, the success of ELM. Her background is in ecology and entomology, having worked in numerous research institutes looking at plant-insect-crop relationships and studying for a PhD looking at the implications of land management on the movement and behaviour of pollinators.

Dr Sofia Kourmpetli

Lecturer in Plant Sciences, Cranfield Soil and AgriFood Institute

Sofia Kourmpetli is a Lecturer in Plant Sciences and the Director of the Future Food Sustainability MSc at Cranfield University. Her research is focused on seed technology and the reduction of food losses and waste during storage. She is also one of the Co-Is of the Rurban Revolution project that looks at the potential of green spaces and growing in urban and peri-urban areas in terms of  food production and the resilience of the UK food system, ecosystem service delivery, as well as their contribution to healthy and sustainable diets.

Professor Ioan Fazey

Professor in Social Dimensions of Environment and Change, University of York

Ioan Fazey is Professor of the Social Dimensions of Environment and Change at the University of York, UK. He has over 60 research publications in knowledge, resilience, transformations and sustainability. He actively supports and facilitates a growing field of research and action associated with understanding how to achieve significant change in relation to social and environmental sustainability. He is a founding member and steward of the SDG Transformation Forum, co-founder of the Transformations Conference Series and trustee of H3Uni which is an action oriented organisation promoting transformative thinking and capacity for working within a rapidly changing world.  

Phil Pearson FCIHort

Group Development Director, APS Group

Phil Pearson is the Group Development Director for the APS Group, who are the largest producer of British tomatoes. Phil has been the driving force for innovation in protected horticulture, developing new technologies including:

  • CHP with CO2 extraction
  • Waste heat recovery
  • Vertical Farming
  • Robotics, applying AI and machine learning
  • Novell Anaerobic Digestion technology developed to turn waste leaves and tomatoes into other products

Phil also works with DEFRA, BEIS and as well as the NFU, AHDB, and UKRI, and is Chairman of the TGA Technical Committee.


Professor Karen Johnson

Professor in Environmental Engineering, Durham University

Karen is an environmental engineer with a passion for soil. Her work involves using sustainable soil improvement technologies to enhance soil functions like flood and drought resilience. She works with a range of stakeholders in both the global north and the global  south. Karen’s  aspirations include working with Parliament and the UN to raise soil up the political agenda as well as understanding the role of mineral-organic interactions in maintaining and enhancing soil health and she enjoys working with a range of colleagues from different disciplines in this work and is particularly interested in championing interdisciplinary research and exploring more inclusive mechanisms for how best to work towards the UK’s sustainable development goals.


Dr Christine Greenhalgh

Lecturer in public health, The University of Manchester

Dr Christine Greenhalgh is a lecturer in public health. She has a varied background including, data protection and access to information, sustainability, nuclear energy, decision theory, occupational and environmental health and has extensive experience of qualitative research and evaluation. Christine leads the MPH Climate Change and Health course unit, and is co-lead for the Qualitative Research Methods course unit. Her other roles include, the Dissertation Committee, PGR tutor, lead ethics signatory for the division, and academic advisor.

Dr Tom Quested

Lead Analyst, WRAP GLOBAL

Dr Tom Quested is Lead Analyst at WRAP, specialising in food waste. Over the past decade, he has researched the topic from a number of different angles: quantifying the amounts generated, understanding the reasons why it is wasted, and applying innovative methods to understand the underlying dynamics. He advises governments and other organisations across the world on this topic, including solutions for tackling food waste.

Dr Carrie Bradshaw

Lecturer in Law, The University of Leeds

Carrie Bradshaw’s current research examines food waste as a distinct legal and policy problem. Her published work explores how waste law adds to the problem of food waste, and I am currently researching the legal and policy framing of food waste. In 2018, I was the ESRC Parliamentary Academic Fellow, working with the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) to support scrutiny of Government interventions to manage food waste in the context of broader food security challenges, particularly against the backdrop of the UK’s forthcoming departure from the EU. I retain additional research interests in the relationship between environmental law, company law, and regulation.