Management Committee

The Management Committee

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

The composition of the management committee, as of February 2017, is:


Appointment by



Job   Title


Management committee

Michael Walker

Michael Walker   Consulting   Ltd

Managing Director    



Mark Woolfe


Food Authenticity     Consultant

Project manager

IT Manager    


Selvarani Elahi

Stephen Ellison


Deputy Government Chemist

Principal Scientist, Statistics

Defra  representative 


Sophie Rollinson


Food Authenticity   Team


LGC & Defra

Andrew Opie

British Retail     Consortium

Director of Food   Policy

Kerina Cheesman  

Food and Drink   Federation  

Director of   Regulatory, Science and Health Division

Barbara Hirst 

Reading Scientific   Services Ltd

Consultant on Food   Safety and Quality

Andrew Damant

Food Standards   Agency  

Head of Surveillance, Methods and Laboratory Policy

John Bassett

Institute of Food Science and Technology

Policy and Scientific Development Director

Liz Moran  

Association of Public Analysts  

Chair, Training Committee


The committee will report to, and be guided by, the Government’s Authenticity Steering Group.

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, Secretary and Network Coordinator

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, 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, 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 Project Officer

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

Andrew Opie - British Retail Consortium

Andrew leads the food and sustainability team at the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the trade association for UK retailers. He and his team cover a wide range of regulatory and policy issues including food authenticity and safety, public health, sustainable sourcing and production, waste and ethical labour. He works closely with Government, regulators and stakeholders and has represented the retail sector in a number of initiatives and inquiries.


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. 

Andrew Damant - Food Standards Agency

Andrew Damant is Head of Surveillance, Methods and Laboratory Policy at the Food Standards Agency.

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.