Expert Panel

The Expert Panel is made up of key individuals from each of the five main food sectors (meat, dairy, fruit + veg, fish, and flour) and from each of the key stages of the food supply chain.

Members of the panel meet on a monthly basis and provide the opportunity for the research team to obtain and share critical food system and supply chain intelligence.

View Expert Panel Meeting Minutes


Expert Panel Members

The below is not a complete list of Expert Panel members.  Other panel members’ names and information will be added in due course.


Julia Aglionby, Executive Director, Foundation for Common Land; Chair, Uplands Alliance

Julia Aglionby is Executive Director of the Foundation for Common Land, Chair of the Uplands Alliance, and a Chartered Surveyor specialising in negotiating agreements on Common Land. Julia is also Cumbria lead for the Food Farming and Countryside Commission. Julia lives in Cumbria where she is Trustee of Susan’s Farm CIO, a pasture fed organic Care Farm. In 2019 Julia was appointed Professor in Practice at the University of Cumbria. She has worked as an environmental economist on National Park Management in Indonesia and the Philippines.


Peter Alvis, Managing Director, Alvis Brothers Ltd

Peter Alvis, a family farming and cheese making business, farming approximately 4,000 acres with 2 dairy herds, one Organic and one conventional producing about 8m litres of milk per annum.   The business also operates beef and pig finishing herds along with approximately 2,000 acres of arable farming.  The cheese making operation takes milk from 30 local suppliers utilising 45m litres of milk per year to produce 4,500 tonnes of cheese, the majority of which is packed on site before sending to customers in the UK or abroad, roughly 40% of sales are exported to 40 countries.  Currently Peter also Chairs the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers, a national organisation informing interested parties and government on the issue facing UK dairy farmers.  He has also recently joined the West of England Combined Authority working group for Economic Recovery following the recent Covid crisis.


David Andrews, Warsons

Since 2010 Beef Farmer – 650 pedigree Angus herd on 700 acres in West Devon. Founder of the Good Beef Index. From 1998 to 2010 CEO of Xchanging plc – processing and technology services operating in 20 countries with 8000 staff. 1975 to 2009 Accenture – Managing Partner Europe and Worldwide Board member. Prior to that Chartered Accountant (FCA), Sheffield University (MA) and 3 years with the Baptist Missionary Society, serving in Congo (DRC). Married to Sylvia, and 4 children.


Elizabeth Bourke, Policy Officer, National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations

Elizabeth has been Policy Officer at the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations, NFFO, since 2007.  She has a broad knowledge of the fishing industry and its interaction with the supply chain and the various distribution channels as well as the regulatory environment.


Tim Brigstocke, Brigstocke Associates; Policy Director, Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers

Tim Brigstocke runs Tim Brigstocke Associates, a farm livestock consultancy specialising in expert witness work. In addition he is Policy Director for the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers, Secretary to the Houses of Parliament All Party Parliamentary Group, Dairy, Chairman, GB Cattle Health & Welfare Sector Council/Group, Executive Director, Cattle Health Certification Standards & Treasurer for the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture Alliance (RUMA).

He chairs the UK Governments Farm Animal Genetic Resources Expert Advisory Committee and is a member of the Royal Society of Biology Fellowship Committee. A Council member of both the Institute of Agricultural Management and the International Farm Management Association. Tim also chairs both the National Equine Forum and the British Horse Council.


Victoria Bywater, Director, Institute of Agricultural Management

Victoria Bywater, Director of the Institute of Agricultural Management, Secretariat for the British Institute of Agricultural Consultants and Secretariat for Bristol Corn & Feed Trade Association & Bristol Corn Trade Guild.


Robert Craig, milk producer; Board member, First Milk

Robert is currently operating three grass based dairy farming businesses in the Cumbria and Northumberland. They are farming approx. 740 ha, milking around 1500 cows and employing 20 people. Away from the farms Robert is farmer director of the farmer owned cooperative First Milk. He chairs the Farmer Forum at Dairy UK and sit on the Dairy UK board and is also a trustee and a vice-chair of The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers – RABDF. He is a 2012 Nuffield Scholar, in 2012/13 he travelled extensively around the world studying food chain sustainability.


Christopher W. Dodds, Executive Secretary, Livestock Auctioneers Association

Chris was brought up in Northumberland on a dairy farm.  He entered the livestock auctioneering industry in 1990.  In 2002 he was appointed as Executive Secretary of The Livestock Auctioneers’ Association (LAA).  The LAA represents, supports and promotes the 121 active livestock markets within its membership, to ensure that the red meat sector can thrive through the services they provide, most importantly through open, transparent and competitive trade.  LAA members sold in excess of 10 million sheep, 1.3 million cattle and 130,000 pigs in 2019 (value of £1.75 billion).


Caroline Drummond MBE, Chief Executive, LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming)

A graduate in agriculture Caroline has broad practical agricultural experience gained from both the UK and overseas. She has run LEAF for nearly 30 years focusing on more sustainable farming practices and building a better public trust and understanding of farming, food and the environment.  In particular through the development of a network of LEAF Demonstration Farms and Innovation Centres, LEAF Marque and it’s continued growth. Open Farm Sunday and LEAF Education. This work is all the more important in our increasingly volatile environment and market.

She is actively involved in many industry partnerships and initiatives and is married to a dairy farmer in the South West.


Tony Goodger, Spokesperson, Association of Independent Meat Suppliers

Tony Goodger has worked in the meat industry for over 20 years. Beginning with the Meat and Livestock Commission where he worked in red meat marketing before moving to focus on the pig industry with BPEX whilst at AHDB. During his time with the levy board he worked in both domestic and export markets. In 2014 Tony joined a meat wholesale business as Head of Operations before leaving to work with AIMS in 2019.


Maddie Harris, Ecosystem Analyst, Joint Nature Conservation Committee

Ecosystem Analyst at the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, conducting research on available methodologies for quantifying the impact of UK consumption on the environment overseas, with the aim of developing a national indicator. Other research interests include the land use change related carbon emissions embedded in commodity production, assessing the feasibility of certification based indicators for measuring environmental impact of UK consumption overseas, and the development of effective policies and targets to reduce the environmental impacts of trade.


Jo Hawker, International Biodiversity Adviser, Joint Nature Conservation Committee

International Biodiversity Adviser at the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, conducting research on available methodologies for quantifying the impact of UK consumption on the environment overseas, with the aim of developing a national indicator. Previous experiences include developing ecosystem based approaches to trade-offs in production landscapes in South America, assessing feasibility of certification based indicators for measuring environmental impact of UK consumption overseas and working for a commodity certification scheme.


Vicki Hird, Sustainable Farm Campaign Coordinator, Sustain

Vicki Hird is an award winning author, expert, strategist and senior manager who has been working on environment, food and farming issues for over 25 years. As part-time Sustainable Farm Campaign Coordinator at Sustain, Vicki manages the farm policy and related campaigning and provides comment and guidance on these issues.

She has launched many major food and environment campaigns, from local to global in scope, has blogged frequently and published numerous reports and articles on the sustainability of food systems and published Perfectly Safe to Eat? (Women’s Press 2000). She has an academic background in pest management and is a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society and the RSA. Vicki is on the board of Pesticides Action Network, and the Eating Better Alliance and has sat on numerous government advisory groups over the years. She also runs an independent consultancy undertaking campaigning and research.


Ruth Huxley, Founder of Cornwall Food & Drink and Owner/MD of Great Cornish Food Store

Ruth created the development organisation Cornwall Food & Drink as a private enterprise 10 years ago and owns and runs the Great Cornish Food Store in Truro.  Although much more than a shop, the 5000 sq ft food hall sells 100% local produce and is located alongside a Waitrose supermarket, making it the UK’s first wholly independent grocery to share its space with one of the multiple retailers.  With a background in market analytics and research, Ruth has also partnered with the University of Exeter on researching local food systems and supply chains and has helped develop hundreds of food and drink businesses over two decades. Ruth, likes to see scope for opportunity in every challenge.


Andrew Kuyk CBE, Director General, Provision Trade Federation

Andrew is currently Director General of the Provision Trade Federation, where he also leads on fisheries work for the UK Seafood Industry Alliance.

Andrew is also a Vice President of AIPCE-CEP, the European Fish Processors and Traders Association, in which capacity currently chairs the markets and trade Working Group of the EU Market Advisory Council (MAC).

Andrew was previously Director of Sustainability at the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), leading work on resource efficiency, food security and climate change.

Prior to that Andrew was a career civil servant until 2008, dealing with a range of food, fisheries, agricultural, trade and environmental issues. He has extensive experience of EU and international negotiations, including diplomatic postings as First Secretary (Fisheries) in the UK Permanent Representation (UKREP) in Brussels and as Counsellor (Agriculture and Economic) at the British Embassy in Paris.


Ian Lonsdale, Head of Agri-Food Chain Evidence and Analysis, Defra

Ian leads the Agri-Food Chain Evidence and Analysis Team in Defra.  This is a multi-disciplinary team of economics, statisticians, economists and social researchers who are responsible for producing robust evidence to support agri-food chain policy making within Defra. He has worked as an analyst in Defra for 25 years across a number of policy areas, including farming; animal health; and bovine TB.


Phil Marshall, Director, Samworth Brothers

Phil has 35 years’ experience in the food industry, both in ambient ready to eat foods and for the last 20 years in fresh chill ready to eat foods. During his career he has worked for large organisations including Golden Wonder, Northern Foods and for the last 9 years for Samworth Brothers. He has held a variety of senior roles and worked across several of the businesses with-in the group, with roles from operations Director to Managing Director. He is currently managing the Cornwall Bakery in Callington, Cornwall supplying major multiples with a range of savoury pastry products and the home of Ginsters. The Cornwall Bakery is the largest savoury pastry manufacturing site in the UK employing 850 people.


Aoife Martin, Operations Director, Seafish

Aoife Martin is the Director of Operations at Seafish (the NDPB tasked with supporting the UK seafood industry). She joined Seafish in 2017 after 14 years working for the civil service in New Zealand and the UK.  An experienced resource management professional, Aoife’s career has seen her work on fisheries, forestry, climate change and land management issues. She is experienced in policy development, fisheries management systems and the operation of the seafood supply chain.


Julie Pierce, Director Openness, Data and Digital; Science; Wales, Food Standards Agency

Julie Pierce has been with the FSA since 2015. The post was established to drive for the use of modern digital approaches and technologies, taking an open approach, within the FSA but also across the food system. Exploitation of Data and Digital is driving change within the FSA, as well as within the global food system, whether food safety, efficiency of supply or crime, and the FSA as the regulator must play a key role. Science has always underpinned the work of the FSA, from microbiology to behavioural science.

Previously Julie was the Chief Information Officer at Defra. She spent much of her earlier career in the private sector implementing change programmes as a partner at PwC in financial services, pharmaceuticals, defence in the UK and mainland Europe.


Guy Poppy, Professor of Ecology, University of Southampton; Director of Transforming the UK food system for healthy people and a healthy environment (UKRI SPF programme)

Guy Poppy has worked on agriculture and food for more than 20 years as an academic, researcher and senior government adviser. His most recent experience as the inaugural Chief Scientific Adviser at the FSA during preparations for exiting the EU and managing food systems during Covid-19 has equipped him with significant experience of the use of science in policy and decision making.


Sue Pritchard, Chief Executive, Food Farming and Countryside Commission

Sue led the Food, Farming & Countryside Commission independent inquiry at the RSA from 2017 and is now Chief Executive of the new charity. For more than thirty years, Sue has been researching, consulting, and writing on leading change for more sustainable futures, working with governments, businesses and communities to help them develop their strategies, governance, leadership, culture and practice.  Her real passion is working with people across whole systems to foster connections and collaboration and to join up actions for long-term change.  Sue has been a Visiting Fellow at University College, London, Leeds, Salford and Ashridge Business School, and a Non-Executive Director on Gwent Health Authority, Chair of Monmouthshire Local Health Board and Vice Chair of Trustees at UWC Atlantic College. Sue is now a Trustee of CoFarm Trust and sits on several research advisory groups, from food systems, to land use.  Sue runs a certified organic, permaculture livestock farm in Wales with her family, which is also home to the Silver Birch Foundation, a small charity offering learning and development in nature for disengaged young people.


Richard Soffe, Interim Chair, AHDB Dairy Board

Richard has recently retired as Director of the Rural Business School (RBS) at Duchy & Bicton Colleges, and is an Emeritus Fellow of Cornwall College group of colleges. He is former Chairman and Director of Rural Business Research producing Defra’s Farm Business benchmarking for England and information for the EU. He was appointed as interim chair of the AHDB Dairy Board from 1 April 2020, having been on the Board since January 2016.  Richard is Course Director for the prestigious ‘International Rural Leadership programme’ for the Worshipful Company of Farmers and was formerly the Director of Professional Development at the University of Plymouth.


Jack Ward, Chief Executive, British Growers Association

Jack is Chief Executive of the British Growers Association, a grower owned, and grower controlled cooperative and supports 25 organisations operating across UK Horticulture.  He also works extensively on behalf of the sector on the issues of the day. He is also Co-Chair of the Defra Edibles Round Table.

Prior to joining British Growers, Jack was CEO of City & Guilds NPTC providing vocational qualifications for the land-based industries. He held several posts with the NFU including Regional Director for the East Midlands and Head of the NFU’s Technical Services Dept. He is a Nuffield Scholar and went on to become Chairman of the Nuffield Farming Scholarships Trust.  He is a former director of the Oxford Farming Conference and became a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society of England in 2014.


Rachel Ward, Scientific Policy Director, Institute of Food Science & Technology

Rachel Ward has more than 30 years’ experience in risk management and standards for consumer goods, mainly in the food chain, covering emerging issues, contaminants and residues, allergens, labelling and claims to ensure effective consumer risk protection and robust regulatory compliance.

Rachel has a wide experience in regulatory affairs and quality assurance. She was the lead risk manager for PepsiCo Europe on food, promotional toys and novel ingredients, and since becoming an independent consultant 9 years ago has worked on various food and food supplements risk management, regulatory, QA and supply chain projects for SME, larger manufacturers and UK retailers. She is also the current Scientific Policy Director at the Institute of Food Science and Technology.


Alex Waugh, Director General, National Association of British and Irish Millers

Alex Waugh is the Director General of the UK flour millers’ association, nabim, and Secretary of the Rice Association, having been involved in the grain sector for many years.  He is a Board member of the Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association and a member of the Executive Committee of the European Flour Millers Association.  He is chair of the Arable Chain Advisory Group, which brings together organisations from the arable food chain in a forum for engagement with government, and a member of the DEFRA expert trade advisory group.


Allan Wilkinson, Head of Agrifoods, HSBC

Allan, a dairy farmer’s son, has been involved with agriculture and the food chain throughout his career.

A graduate in Agriculture from Aberystwyth University in 1985, he spent 3 years in the Milk Marketing Board as a Farm Management Consultant before joining Midland Bank in 1988. Allan has held a number of roles around the UK in HSBC, prior to being appointed Head of Agriculture in early 2010.  He is currently Head of Agrifoods, with specific reference to lead HSBC’s sector specialism for the whole food chain in the UK and increasingly beyond. Allan is a Trustee of The Prince’s Countryside Fund, where he also chairs the industry steering group for The Prince’s Farm Resilience Programme, launched in July 2016.  He is a Liveryman in the Worshipful Company of Farmers and a Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Societies. Allan is also  involved in a number of other sector initiatives, including the Food & Drink Sector Council’s Export Group.

Allan is married to Michelle and they live near York.