Management Committee

The Management Committee

To ensure independence, the work of the network is overseen by a management committee.

The committee receive's input from the Government’s Authenticity Steering Group via Defra.

The composition of the management committee, as of November 2018, is:

Michael Walker, Chair

Managing Director of Michael Walker Consulting Ltd, Michael is Consultant Referee Analyst in the Laboratory of the Government Chemist, where he also manages research on allergen measurement. He is Facilitator for a safefood Knowledge Network on food allergy & food intolerance and is a member of the European Academy of Allergy & Clinical Immunology. Chair of the FSA in NI Strategic Committee on Food Surveillance, Michael also has a thriving chemico-legal practice and extensive non-executive director experience including as a founder board member of the FSA. He was a subject matter expert to the UK DH/Defra Elliott Review into the integrity and assurance of food supply networks. Author of over 25 scientific peer reviewed publications, Michael’s background is in chemistry. He is a Fellow of both IFST and RSC, and holds the MChemA, the statutory qualification in food drugs and water to act as a Public Analyst in the UK.

Mark Woolfe, Network Secretary

Mark has over 24 years’ experience of applying science to Government food policy. First in Food Science   Division of MAFF – then the Food Standards Agency (FSA) - in advising colleagues & Ministers in relation to food policy and science issues. Mark was the head of FSA’s Food Authenticity Group.

Mark is now an independent food authenticity consultant and chairman of the Royal Society of Chemistry's Analytical Methods Committee's Nitrogen Factors Sub-committee. As well as Coordinator of the Food Authenticity Network, he is currently an assessor for the EU Food Integrity project.


Selvarani Elahi, Network Project Manager

Selvarani has over 25 years’ experience of leading projects on all aspects of food chain analysis including authenticity. Selvarani led on the Food Standards Agency and Defra funded meat species carry over project that arose from the 2013 horsemeat issue.

She is the UK Deputy Government Chemist and Chair of Defra’s Authenticity Methods Working Group.

Stephen Ellison, Network IT Manager

Steve has had a long and distinguished career with LGC. Although based at Teddington, he carries out substantial activity overseas, representing LGC and the UK at international events, particularly related to measurement uncertainty, statistics for analytical measurement, metrological traceability and reference materials.

Steve has a strong publications record, including over 70 peer-reviewed papers, four published books, three Eurachem guides, one international Standard as project leader and a variety of editorials.

Steve manages the IT requirements for the Virtual Food Authenticity Network.

Sophie Rollinson, Defra

Sophie is Food Chain Evidence Manager in the Great British Food Evidence Team at Defra. She heads up Defra's food authenticity research programme.

Bhavna Parmar - Food Standards Agency

Bhavna Parmar works in the Surveillance, Methods and Laboratory Policy Team at the Food Standards Agency.

Kasia Kazimierczak - Food Standards Scotland

Kasia Kazimierczak is a Senior Scientific Advisor in the department of Food Protection, Science and Surveillance at Food Standards Scotland.

Elizabeth Andoh-Kesson - British Retail Consortium

Elizabeth Andoh-Kesson is a Food Policy Adviser at the British Retail Consortium (BRC), with responsibilty for policy negotiations on food safety including microbiological safety, food contaminants and contact materials and food incident management.

Elizabeth leads work with the Food Standards Agency on retailers' commitments to reduction of campylobacter in poultry and assists in the formulation of guidance/consumer information to promote food safety. She also engages in the development of target setting for articles and substances coming into contact with food.

Kerina Cheesman - and Drink Federation

Kerina Cheesman is Food Safety and Groups Manager in the Regulatory, Science and Health Division of the Food and Drink Federation.





Barbara Hirst - Reading Scientific Services Ltd

Reading Scientific Services Ltd (RSSL) is a Centre of Expertise in he Virtual Food Authenticity Network.

Barbara is a Consultant on Food Safety and Quality at RSSL. She has a B.Sc. (Hons) Genetics degree. Previously, she managed the department of DNA and Protein which is responsible for the analytical testing for allergens, meat and fish speciation, GMOs, rice authenticity, cattle parental genotyping and other molecular biology services.

She has worked at RSSL for 17 years and been responsible for growing the analytical testing service in the molecular biology areas as well as working to grow the allergen and food quality consultancy offering. RSSL partner with clients to understand the issues they have with allergen management and then target their resource to understand the risks, identify the controls, validate them and re-assess. This takes the form of consultancy, training, factory visits and analytical testing.

She also works in the areas of food quality which include non-GMO management and speciation control in the form of supplier assessment and factory cross contact risk management. She was involved with the recent horse meat industry issue and other more current challenges and supported both industry bodies, regulators and partnered with clients to bridge the gap between the complex science and the choices required for where sampling and testing have a role. She understands the importance of translating the results into the practical implications of food manufacture. 

John Bassett - Institute of Food Science & Technology

John Bassett is the Scientific and Policy Development Director at the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST), where his role is to develop and coordinate policy positions on food science and innovation, on behalf of IFST’s professional membership. IFST is a qualifying body for food professionals in Europe, with membership comprising individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, from students to experts, working across all aspects of food science and technology, and from academia through to enforcement.

John Bassett also runs his own food safety consultancy business.

Liz Moran - Association of Public Analysts

Liz Moran is Head of Scientific Services at Public Analyst Scientific Services Limited, part of the Eurofins Life Sciences Group, and is a practising public analyst.

Liz has 25 years’ experience in the testing of food and animal feed, the fields of consumer safety, forensic toxicology and environmental testing. Specialist areas include food fraud, food labelling, the adulteration or substitution of food with lower quality or harmful foods and contamination of food and feed.

She was awarded the Mastership in Chemical Analysis (MChemA), the statutory qualification for appointment as a Public Analyst, in 2006.

Liz is Past President of the Association of Public Analysts and Chair of the APA Training Committee. She is a Chartered Chemist and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and is a member of the RSC Membership and Qualifications Board. She is an examiner for the MChemA qualification and is a member of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST).

In 2014 Liz was named in the UK Top 100 Practising Scientists by the Science Council. In 2016 she was included in the 175 Faces of Chemistry to mark the 175th anniversary of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Franz Ulberth - European Commission, Directorate-General Joint Research Centre

Franz Ulberth is Head of the Fraud Detection and Prevention Unit at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre.

Franz graduated (PhD) in "Food Science and Biotechnology" from the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna, Austria. Franz joined JRC in 2002 as a programme co-ordinator for food and environmental reference materials.

In 2007 Franz was nominated Head of the Food Safety and Quality Unit. As of July 2016 he heads a newly created Unit devoted to detection of fraud in the food chain and selected consumer goods such as tobacco.

He represents the JRC in relevant food related technical committees of standards developing organisations such as the European Committee for Standardization, International Organization for Standardization, AOAC International and the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius.