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Meet the judges of the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards 2024

By Bethan Grylls

- Last updated on GMT

Get to know the judges for next year's FMEAs as entries open next month
Get to know the judges for next year's FMEAs as entries open next month

Related tags FMEAs Food manufacture excellence awards Leadership

As the launch date for entries fast approaches for the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards, we take a moment to get to know the expert judging panel.

The Food Manufacture Excellence Awards (FMEAs) which will be held on 8 February next year will open for entries on 14 August 2023.

There are several new categories for 2024’s ceremony and an exciting new judging process which you can read about here​. The deadline for entries is 25 September 2023.

Each entry will be assessed by an expert panel of judges. Here, we take the opportunity to get to know them better and find out about their current job roles and career achievements.

Meet the FMEA judges

Steve Batchford

Job title: ​Science, policy and governance manager

Company: ​Sainsbury’s Supermarkets

Stephen B
Stephen Batchford, Sainsbury's

Steve Batchford joined Sainsbury’s eight years ago and supports the business on food safety, food fraud, emerging risks, incident management, policy development and governance. He previously worked for another leading UK supermarket as its group microbiologist supporting its UK and global businesses, and a major foodservice business, supporting the core business and its manufacturing operations on all aspects of food safety management and policy.

During his career he has supported businesses on numerous initiatives, including Campylobacter reduction in poultry, antimicrobial resistance and allergen management.  Batchford graduated from Leeds University with an honours degree in Microbiology.

Rich Clothier

Job title: ​Managing director

Company: ​Wyke Farms

Rich C
Richard Clothier, Wyke Farms

Rich Clothier represents the third generation of the Clothiers, a family who have been making cheddar on their Somerset farm to their secret recipe since 1861. Under Clothier’s leadership as managing director, the Wyke Farms business has grown to a turnover of £150m. The Wyke Farms brands have grown both in the UK and through export markets and are now available in 167 countries worldwide.

Under his directorship, Clothier has instigated industry change, working with farmer suppliers to reduce emissions, moved to net positive in the processing business and has developed a ground-breaking farm to customer environmental strategy. He and his team have also created the world’s first certified carbon neutral cheddar in Ivy’s Reserve.

Wyke Farms is now recognised as one of the leading environmentally focused privately-owned UK food businesses and employs 320 people directly across three sites.

Rupert Ashby

Job title:​ Chief executive

Company:​ British Frozen Food Federation (BFFF)

Rupert A
Rupert Ashby, BFFF

Rupert Ashby is chief executive of the BFFF, the UK’s frozen food trade association, with over 250 members comprising producers, wholesalers, importers, exporters, brokers, retailers and related associate businesses. He joined the BFFF from the Country Land and Business Association, where he had been the director of membership and regions since 2012.

His early career was spent at the Co-operative Group running several of its farming businesses before moving to its Manchester headquarters as a marketing project manager. His farming experience included growing vining peas, broccoli, cauliflowers and chipping potatoes for the frozen food industry.

Laetitia Rocha        

Job title: ​Global R&D internal capability snr manager,

Company: ​PepsiCo

Laetitia Rocha, PepsiCo

Laetitia Rocha currently leads a cultural transformation initiative which spans global R&D and PepsiCo, anchored in its pep+ strategy for ‘Positive Choices’.

An R&D professional and a registered nutritionist, Rocha has managed a broad range of projects from front-end innovation, technology innovation, M&A to product launch, in Europe and Africa, for several FMCG. 

Charlotte Langdon

Job title: ​Director of audit and assurance

Company: ​Menzies LLP Chartered Accountants

Charlotte Langdon, Menzies

Charlotte Langdon is a director of audit and assurance at Menzies, as well as heading up the manufacturing sector team.

With a wealth financial and business expertise across the SME sector, Langdon works with many manufacturing clients to provide audit, accounting and business consultancy services.

With a deep understanding of both complex accounting and manufacturing operations, she works very closely with clients to help solve their business problems. Her skill is combining her own experience with that of other Menzies specialists, to provide proactive business advice and support for entrepreneurs, business owners and finance directors, helping them to grow their business and achieve their goals.

Tim McLachlan

Job title: ​Chief executive

Company: ​Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST)

Tim M
Tim McLachlan, IFST

As chief executive of the IFST, Tim McLachlan leads the internationally respected independent professional membership body for food science and technology. McLachlan’s career in the UK voluntary sector includes over 25 years leading and developing national charities, including the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation and Alzheimer’s Society. His first degree was in Medicinal Chemistry and he holds an MBA specialised in strategic planning.

David Lloyd

Job title: ​Senior R&D manager

Company: ​Huel

David L
David Lloyd, Huel

Dr David Lloyd is senior R&D manager of Huel, a UK based food company that makes a variety of nutritionally complete, plant-based meal products.

As Huel has expanded rapidly in employees, sales revenue and scientific capability over its eight-year lifespan, Lloyd has played a key role on that journey over the last four years. He is now co-ordinating Huel’s longer-term R&D strategy to drive further growth and help Huel move up another gear. Key interests include process optimisation, solving formulation challenges and exploring emerging ingredient technologies.

Both a passionate scientist and engineer, Lloyd – while still in the relatively early stages of his career – has had a somewhat varied experience across industry and academia.

Graduating from Loughborough university with a degree in chemical engineering, his passion for food and willingness to learn took him in a different direction. After studying an engineering doctorate in formulation engineering at the University of Birmingham, Lloyd took a role at Unilever, carrying out R&D innovation projects on ice cream and ready-to-drink iced tea. Looking for a new challenge brought him into the early stages of the rapidly growing Huel business looking after its ready-to-drink category before a switch to his current role.

Lloyd was also involved in the Institute of Chemical Engineers, promoting food and drink careers to future cohorts of engineering students. He has also won multiple accolades for presentations, business delivery and was awarded Food & Drink Scientist of the Year 2022 by the Food & Drink Federation.

Manoj Dora

Job title: ​Director of the Centre for Intelligent Supply Chains

Company:​ Anglia Ruskin University 

Manoj D
Manoj Dora, Anglia Ruskin University

Professor Manoj Dora is the director of the Centre for Intelligent Supply Chains at the School of Management at Anglia Ruskin University. His areas of expertise include sustainable management, the circular economy and food supply chains. Dora’s research has focused on how we can switch from our current industrial linear model to a circular economy and how operational excellence tools and industry 4.0 technologies can be combined in a connected supply chain to achieve zero-waste.

He has been involved in many capacity building initiatives focusing on the circular economy, industry 4.0 and food supply chain in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia.

He has consulted more than 50 food manufacturing companies in Europe using an innovative tailor-made framework for quality improvement to raise efficiency and sustainability. He also has several publications in the high impact journals and disseminated his research in reputed forums such as TEDx and Cambridge Festival of Ideas at the University of Cambridge.

Andy Richardson

Job title:​ Chairman

Company:​ Welsh Food & Drink Industry Board / UK Dairy Productivity Initiative

Andy Richardson, Welsh Food & Drink Board and UK Dairy Productivity Initiative

Andy Richardson was educated at Magdalen College School followed by an honours degree in agriculture. He joined Unilever in 1989, then BOCM PAULS where he held several commercial roles including marketing manager.

In 2000, he joined Volac, the dynamic UK dairy nutrition business, becoming director of corporate affairs and sustainability before leaving in February 2023.

He has a passion for British food and drink and chaired the Welsh Dairy industry review in 2015. He currently chairs the Welsh Food & Drink Industry Board and is a member of the UK Government Food and Drink Sector Council, Strategic Trade Advisory Group, and the Food & Drink Export Council.

He is also a co-founder of the international collaboration Protein Challenge 2040, which aims to develop a sustainable global balance between protein production and consumption and is currently collaborating on a globally sustainable edible fats and oils initiative.

Richardson also chairs the UK Dairy Productivity initiative and contributes to Cambridge University’s Sustainability Programme for Sustainable Leadership.

Clare Menezes

Job title: ​Senior director global food integrity & risk

Company: ​McCormick

Clare M
Clare Menezes, McCormick

Clare Menezes is senior director of global food integrity for the Global Quality & Food Safety Center of Excellence at McCormick. As part of the McCormick global authenticity programme, one of her key focuses is herbs and spice integrity - specifically supply chain vulnerability management.

As part of her leadership accountability, she is responsible for directing integrity science and investigating emerging technologies for the detection and verification of product integrity challenges.

Menezes has worked in the herb and spice industry for more than 20 years, holding a number of technical roles, including microbiology, food safety, quality assurance, supplier quality and regulatory responsibilities.

She joined McCormick in 1998 and was appointed to her current position in 2018. Prior to joining the company, Menezes was a public analyst with Severn Trent Water and company microbiologist at Tate and Lyle Sugars (UK).

She has a BSc degree in microbiology, biochemistry and physiology from the University of Reading, and is a Registered Food Safety Principle.

David Moore

Job title: ​Head of environmental, social and governance (ESG)

Company: ​The Compleat Food Group

David Moore
David Moore, The Compleat Food Group

David Moore is the The Compleat Food Group’s first group head of ESG, having previously worked as senior technical manager for Winterbotham Dairy (now part of the newly formed The Compleat Food Group).

He has over 20 years of experience working in the food production industry, with previous roles including senior business development manager at Oritain; and head of technical supply base at New England Seafood. He also spent more than eight years at Sainsbury’s in various technical roles.

In his current position, Moore leads on the development and delivery of The Compleat Food Group’s new ESG strategy, as it seeks to create great quality, tasty food in a sustainable way that delivers a positive impact on the world.

Natalie Chiu

Job title: ​Open innovation lead

Company: ​Mondelez

Natalie Chiu, Mondelez

Natalie Chiu is the European open innovation lead for Mondelez International. Her role includes scouting for innovative technologies and actively supports projects and partnerships with external partners to drive breakthrough innovation. She has been involved in setting up partnerships with academic institutions, startups and FMCG consortiums.

Jaclyn Bowen

Job title: ​Executive director

Company: ​Clean Label Project

Jaclyn Bowen, Clean Label Project

Jaclyn Bowen MPH, MS is a food safety and quality systems engineer and executive director of Clean Label Project, a US-based national non-profit and consumer advocacy organisation with the mission to bring truth and transparency to food and consumer product labelling.

Through data, science, and benchmarking, the Clean Label Project uses retail sampling and testing to benchmark product quality and purity of bestselling food and consumer products and award Clean Label Project's coveted evidence-based Purity Award. 

Bowen was the researcher and co-author behind the largest academic peer-reviewed study ever conducted on lead and cadmium in baby food and infant formula, which was published in the international multidisciplinary journal, Science of the Total Environment. The capstone of her career (to date) was presenting before the 63rd session of the United Nations Commission on Narcotics in Vienna, Austria on Clean Label Project's study on the levels of industrial and environmental contaminants in cannabis products in 2020.

Before coming to Clean Label Project, she held numerous technical, standards development, food safety, quality, and executive roles within the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre, and NSF International. Her expertise is in organic, gluten-free, non-GMO labelling, food safety, and label claim substantiation and compliance. Bowen holds a bachelor of science in environmental biology, a master of science in quality engineering, and a master of public health in management and policy.

Amy Wilkinson

Job title: ​Industry coach and podcast co-host

Company:​ Self employed

Amy Wilkinson, Oh for Food's Sake

Amy Wilkinson is a coach supporting women and teams in the food and grocery industry to speak up, influence better and get the recognition they deserve in their careers. Her own career in large corporate food manufacturers spans over 23 years and across multiple functions, with a particular focus in NPD, commercial and marketing.

Wilkinson is also the co-host of the award-winning food industry podcast, ‘Oh for Food’s Sake’, which unwraps the joys and struggles of working in the food industry.

Alec Kyriakides

Job title: ​Independent food safety consultant

Company:​ Self employed

Alec Kyriakides, Independent food safety consultant

Alec Kyriakides was head of quality, safety and supplier performance at Sainsbury’s for 28 years, with expertise in microbiology. He now works as an independent consultant to the food industry, advising businesses large and small on all aspects of food safety and quality management.

He is a board trustee for the IFST, a non-executive board director of Campden BRI, and a member of the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food.

Claire McKay-White

Job title: ​Food development manager

Company: ​Quorn

Claire MC
Claire McKay-White, Quorn

As a food development manager at Quorn, McKay-White is a specialist in product development and has 14 years of experience in the food industry leading innovation projects from conception to implementation.

She previously worked for Mars Petcare in European and global roles, developing treats for dogs and cats for brands such as Pedigree, Dreamies and Temptations. Now at Quorn Foods, she is responsible for translating consumer wants and needs into measurable attributes and unpicking significant technical complexity in order to deliver meat-free food products that delight and nourish consumers.

McKay-White is a hands-on leader and thrives on activity that demands resourcefulness, collaboration and the realisation of ideas that are ‘beyond imagination’.

Mehdi Adjiri

Job title: ​Head of Technical Accounts

Company:​ Compleat Food Group

Mehdi A
Mehdi Adjiri, Graze

Originally from France, Mehdi Adjiri graduated with a MSc in food science in 2005. He emigrated to the UK in 2006, where he started a career in the food industry as part of the Bakkavor technical graduate scheme.

He has worked in various roles in manufacturing, from quality auditor to quality manager and technical manager. Spending almost nine years working at Marks and Spencer managing suppliers in the UK and abroad, Mehdi has an in-depth understanding of food retail.

Over his 17-year career, he has also covered a wide range of product categories, across chilled and ambient and managing product areas worth up £250 million.

He was recently leading the technical function at Graze in his role as technical controller and just joined the Compleat Food Group as part of its central technical team. 

Chris Gilbert-Wood

Job title: ​Consultant

Company: ​Self-employed

Chris Gilbert-Wood, Consultant

Chris Gilbert-Wood is a food technologist who has worked in the food industry for 40 years. His roles have included positions at Marks and Spencer, Flamingo Horticulture and 2 Sisters Food Group. He was also previously a non-executive director at Quality Meat Scotland and the Ethical Trading Initiative.

Gilbert-Wood is a Registered Food Safety Principal and now works as a consultant. He is also a fellow and trustee of the IFST and chair of its External Affairs Committee.

Lisa Fox

Job title: ​Group learning development manager

Company:​ Nomad Foods

Lisa Fox
Lisa Fox, Nomad Foods

Lisa Fox is a senior leader in learning and development with over 20 years’ experience in operational performance, talent progression and optimising people and performance. She has worked within corporate functions and latterly in manufacturing, helping people to reach their true potential.

With specialisms in leadership development, coaching, mentoring and high performing teams, her skills and talent enable organisations to flourish, embrace a learning culture and to create a workforce fit for the future and for generations to come.

Jon Poole

Job title: ​Independent consultant

Company: ​Step Change

Jon Poole
Jon Poole, Step Change

Jon Poole is an independent consultant focusing on organisational and development with a particular focus on leadership competency and development and career development. Until recently, he was chief executive of the IFST, the independent professional membership body for all those involved in technical roles in the food sector.

Alongside Step Change, Poole chairs SALSA, the third-party supplier assurance scheme for small and micro businesses in the UK. He has also written and published three books on leadership, business coaching and career development and now writes ‘The Talent Poole’ monthly column for Food Manufacture, exploring leadership as it applies in the food and drink sector.

Ramona Hazan

Job title: ​Founder

Company: ​Ramona’s Kitchen

Ramona Hazan
Ramona Hazan, Ramona's Kitchen

Ramona Hazan, founder of Ramona’s Kitchen, brought Levantine textures and flavours to the UK market inspired by her Mediterranean heritage. The business specialises in houmous and falafel based on her family’s traditional recipes with a contemporary twist. Today, 18 years on, ‘RAMONA’S Heavenly Houmous’ is the UK’s No.1 houmous brand, winning many prestigious awards and driving new shoppers to the category.

Hazan has a passion for food but her continual dedication and persistence to deliver a brand that stands out from the crowd and that people love has resulted in listings in most major supermarkets in the UK.   

Geoff Eaton

Job title: ​Chairman

Company: ​Butcher’s Pet Care

Geoff Eaton, Butcher's Pet Care

Geoff Eaton has had a wide ranging career in the food industry and is currently chairman of Butcher’s Pet Care, the UK’s leading producer of wet dog food and the fast growing cat brand, Blink!.

He was formerly chairman of New England Seafood International, COO of Premier Foods Plc, CEO of Uniq Plc, and executive director of RHM. Eaton has been an integral part of judging panel for the Food Manufacture Excellence Awards for the last five years.

Susana Morris

Job title: ​Senior export manager - Americas

Company: ​Agriculture Horticulture Development Board (AHDB)

Susana M
Susana Morris, AHDB

Susana Morris is a senior export manager -Americas, for the AHDB. She has built her 26 year-career in a variety of roles and industries, mostly in international companies such as Ishida Europe, Reddiplex Group, Battenfeld Glocester and TNA Europe.

She holds a commercial management and marketing degree from ESIC, Madrid. Morris’ responsibilities in her current role includes developing new markets in the Americas for the English meat industry, by planning marketing activities such as exhibitions and inward/outward missions and assisting exporters with market intelligence.

Konstantina Karagkika

Job title: ​Senior scientific and regulatory affairs manager

Company: ​Coca-Cola

Konstantina Karagkika, Coca-Cola

Konstantina Karagkika is a senior scientific and regulatory affairs (SRA) manager for the Coca-Cola Company. In her current role, Karagkika is leading regulatory advocacy initiatives for GB&I that remove barriers and enable business growth, while engaging and collaborating with relevant trade associations and external stakeholders.

She is also responsible in managing regulatory compliance initiatives that support innovation and provide scientific advice and expertise towards our innovation pipeline. At the same time, she’s a key member of the European SRA Community, working closely and collaboratively with the SRA network to deliver the companies objectives at a local and European level.

Karagkika previously worked at innocent Drinks where she was heading the food regulatory, safety and emerging risks function.

Prior to this, she held a number of technical roles in several food businesses, ranging from ready meals, to nuts and specialty ingredients. She has gained broad experience in supply chain, technical operations and suppliers auditing on a global scale. Karagkika holds a master’s degree in food safety and quality assurance from the University of Reading, UK.

Mathew Thewlis

Job title: ​Operations director

Company: ​Yeo Valley

Mat T
Mathew Thewlis, Yeo Valley

As operations director for Yeo Valley, Mathew Thewlis is responsible for working with the team to set and deliver upon the product fulfilment strategy, helping Yeo to fulfil its purpose of nurturing and nourishing people and planet. This includes continuing to develop and grow the business in dairy and to widen the brand offer in new food categories starting with the recent launch of its soups.  

Based in the South West, Yeo Valley is a privately owned business with 20% ownership held in an EBT for the benefit of the circa 1,600 co-owners who work within the business. It operates five manufacturing sites and a finished goods distribution centre.

Yeo Valley manufactures a substantial amount of yogurt for own label customers, making its total market share approximately 30% of all yogurt in the UK. 

Thewlis’ experience includes a variety of food operations; 17 years in ambient drinks with Britvic, culminating in running its operations in Ireland; fresh produce with Mack (part of the Fresca Group) providing sourcing, selection, ripening and packing of fruits for a number of the UK’s leading multiples; and airline catering with Gate Gourmet providing meal preparation, packing and final mile fulfilment to aircraft across the major airports in UK and Ireland.

He is also a fellow of the IMechE with his foundation in mechanical engineering as a graduate from Loughborough University.

Richard Singleton

Job title: ​Finance & sustainability director

Company: ​Menzies LLP Chartered Accountants

Richard S
Richard Singleton, Menzies

Richard Singleton is the finance & sustainability director at Menzies, working in the strategic advisory division, as well as heading up internal finance and ESG.

As an experienced financial director, having worked across range of industries to provide audit, accounting and business consultancy services, Singleton helps clients to design ESG strategies that also enhance competitive advantage, increase top and bottom-line growth, improve stakeholder engagement and create supply chain robustness, while maintaining strong financial controls and performance.

Mark Baggaley

Job title: ​Operations director

Company: ​Butcher’s Pet Care

Mark B
Mark Baggaley, Butcher's Pet Care

Mark Baggaley has worked in the food industry just shy of 20 years. His experience stretches across a range of roles, from shop floor all the way up to board room level.

He values honest, integrity authentic leadership where communication, engagement and empathy play a major part in driving a high-performance culture.

His career in food started at Carlsberg in 2005 at the Tetley brewery site in Leeds town centre. He began as a trainee master brewer and after passing his brewing exams, moved into overseeing the installation of a new £23m canning and bottling line at the Leeds Brewery. He then assumed the role of operations manager, before becoming the UK lean manager, where he helped develop and deploy both the Northampton and Leeds sites Lean/CI strategy.

Baggaley went on to study a post-grad masters at Leeds University in manufacturing excellence and joined Arla in 2011, where he worked out of the Settle Creamery as deputy site director.  

After 18 Months, he joined Stourton Dairy where he worked initially as head of lean and CI before becoming the site’s production technology development manager. In this position, he had full accountability for running Stourton Dairy and Creamery. In 2016, Baggaley joined Greencore, where he assumed the role of general manager for the Selby site.

Two years on and he was appointed as Greencore’s UK head for strategic projects, where he led the reshaping programme of the manufacturing footprint in the UK following the sale of the USA business. Then, in 2019, he joined McCormick as site director of the Littleborough factory.

His current role is operations director at Butcher Petcare, where he is responsible for the UK operations and its people, along with building and executing the operation’s footprint and plans to deliver the businesses’ three-year growth plans. His position is part of the exec team that sits on the board.

Mark Schubert

Job title: ​Director

Company: ​Coriolis Consulting

Mark S
Mark Schubert, Coriolis Consulting

Mark Schubert was appointed as managing director for Coriolis in April 2014, with 16 years of global consulting experience. As in any consultancy the deployment of talent is the cornerstone of our ability to service our clients. He believes that in order to succeed, consultants must demonstrate more than proven methodologies. A truly effective consultant will possess a blend of advocacy skills and technical skills; compelling cases delivered with conviction and result in success. Every act is an opportunity to encourage each other to learn more, do more and become more.

Schubert believes the true art of consulting is simplifying the “perceived” ​complexities. He takes a hands-on approach to ensure that the company’s values are at the centre of its delivery, and typically leads due diligence and diagnostic phases of work.

Daksha Stancilas

Job title: ​Talent & development partner

Company: ​Pret A Manger

Daksha S
Daksha Stancilas, Pret A Manger

Daksha Stancilas currently leads the emerging talent and development agenda at Pret A Manger, this includes early careers, the education and attraction of young people, commercial qualifications, and Pret's apprenticeship strategy.

Stancilas is passionate about inspiring and preparing young people for their futures, regardless of background, and is committed to providing great career opportunities in the hospitality sector and with Pret.

Nishikant Mishra

Job title: ​Professor/ Head of management systems subject group

Company: ​University of Hull

Nishikant Mishra, University of Hull

Professor Nishikant Mishra is a distinguished scholar and expert in the field of logistics and management systems. With a passion for technology adoption and digital transformation, he has made significant contributions to the development of decision support systems. His research focuses on harnessing the power of technology to facilitate efficient decision-making processes.

Throughout his illustrious career, Mishra has been involved in numerous projects. His expertise extends to the creation of software solutions for multimodal transportation optimisation, cloud computing, and blockchain-enabled systems for low-carbon supply chains. In addition to his practical contributions, he has also been a driving force behind several research projects. His efforts have attracted substantial funding from Innovate UK, GCRF, DEFRA, BBSRC and EPSRC, amounting to an impressive sum of approximately £15 million. This financial support has facilitated the exploration of innovative solutions to real-world challenges.

Mishra's research findings have been widely disseminated through his publication of 60 papers in reputable, refereed journals. Many of his works have appeared in high-impact journals, demonstrating the significance and influence of his research within the academic community.

Martin Macfarlane

Job title: ​Consultant – R&D director Europe, AMESAA & NASEA

Company: ​Unilever

Martin M
Martin Macfarlane, Unilever

Martin Macfarlane has worked for Unilever for 19 years. He originally focused on ensuring the safety of products and manufacturing for consumers, employees and the environment for various product categories across personal care and foods. He then moved to ice cream design, developing recipes and technologies to give new consumer benefits and experiences.

Macfarlane is now head of R&D for the Europe, AMESAA and NASEA regions in the Pepsi Lipton Joint Venture.

James Robinson

Job title: ​Chairman

Company: ​Bold Bean Company

James R
James Robinson, Bold Bean Company

A decade at Procter & Gamble in finance, sales and marketing roles set James Robinson on course for general management. After leadership stints at Hovis & Kipling, Robinson dedicated the next 16 years to New England Seafood International, latterly as managing director. Today, he is an angel investor in the food and drink space and chairman of the Bold Bean Company, a fast-growing plant-based start-up.

Gwen Ridler

Job title: ​Multimedia reporter

Company: ​William Reed – Food Manufacture

Gwen Ridler
Gwen Ridler, Food Manufacture

Gwen Ridler has been working with the brand since 2016, contributing her skills in writing, video editing, audio production and social media.

She joined Food Manufacture mere months before the UK made the historic decision to leave the EU and has travelled with the industry as it has been forced to navigate the impact of Brexit.

This journey has allowed her to ‘peek behind the curtain’ of food production and experience some of the world’s biggest socio-economic events – the war in Ukraine, COVID-19 – from the perspective of the people striving to keep the nation fed against all odds.

Having no knowledge of the industry before starting in the role, she has since grown to understand what it means to operate within the UK’s largest manufacturing sector and has since gone on to expand her horizons through her work with National Butchers Week and The Butcher Shop of the Year awards (part of the Meat Trades Journal brand).

While Ridler regularly writes news and features for the Food Manufacture website, her main passions are the multimedia projects she is involved in, including the new podcast series started in February and the fresh take on Me and My Team in a video documentary style format.

Bethan Grylls

Job title: ​Editor

Company: ​William Reed – Food Manufacture

Bethan Grylls, Food Manufacture

Bethan Grylls is the editor of Food Manufacture, which commands the largest audience of any online platform dedicated solely to readers working in the UK food and drink manufacturing industry. Prior to joining Food Manufacture (part of the William Reed group), she led a content team at Russell Publishing and has been focused in food and beverage b2b for five years.

She has been working as a professional writer for more than a decade and was responsible for organising one of the world’s largest virtual, scientific food and beverage conferences in 2021.

Grylls is a regular speaker at food and drink events and chairs Food Manufacture’s esteemed Business Leaders Forum, she is also the host for the brand’s prestigious food and drink awards, and a well-respected thought-leader in her field. She serves as a technical advisor on the Clean Label Project’s UK board and was a judge for Ecotrophelia 2023.

She is also responsible for National Butcher’s Week, a social event operated under the Meat Trades Journal brand, which includes a judging role on the affiliated Butcher’s Shop awards.

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