To ensure independence, the work of the network is overseen by an Advisory Board.

The Terms of Reference for the Advisory Board can be found HERE.
The current composition of the Advisory Board (updated December 2020)

Sterling Crew, Chair

Sterling is Chair of the Advisory Board of the Food Authenticity Network. He is co-founder of Kitchen Conversation. Managing Director of SQS Ltd and is a Strategic Advisor at Dynamic Risk Indicator and the Shield Safety Group .Sterling is the Independent Scientific Advisor at Campden BRI and sits on its board. He is also on the audit governance board at Eurofins and is a Scientific Advisor to Olio the online food sharing business. He chairs the Institute of Food Science and Technologies Food Safety Group, sits on its Board and is it’s immediate past Vice President.

He has 35 years’ experience of working in the field of national and international food safety, authenticity governance, sustainability and regulation. He started his career in government before a successful track history in retailing with Marks and Spencer and Tesco. He has also worked in the branded environment for Coca Cola and Disney and two food manufacturers.

Sterling’s experience as a regulator, retailer, brand owner and food manufacturer has given him a unique perspective of the authenticity challenges in the global food supply 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.

Devina Sankhla, British Retail Consortium

Devina Sankhla is Food Policy Advisor at the BRC, responsible for food safety aspects including microbiology, chemical contaminants, food contact materials, authenticity, hygiene, pests, novel foods and additives.

Vacant, 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. 

Stephen French, Institute of Food Science & Technology

Stephen French, Scientific Policy Director Stephen is responsible for leading IFST policy development and engagement on scientific and technical issues, and policy relevant to IFST mission in education, skills and professional recognition. In addition, he supports the External Affairs Advisory Committee and Consultations Group. In this role, Stephen engages with key government departments from the UK nations, key opinion leader academics, and food sector industry leaders to support the IFST mission. Since graduating from University of Sheffield with a BSc. (Hons) in Physiology and a Ph.D. in Gastrointestinal Physiology and Nutrition, Stephen had an academic career in research and teaching prior to joining Mars Inc. During his time with Mars Inc., Stephen worked in a variety of research and Scientific and Regulatory Affairs roles for the organisation in European and Global roles, and in Confectionery, Food, and Petfood sectors of the business. Outside of work, Stephen is a Governor at a leading independent day school and a volunteer at a local community garden. Stephen enjoys running, cycling and is a keen gardener.

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.

Vacant, European Commission, Directorate-General Joint Research Centre


John Spink, Michigan State University

Director and Assistant Professor, Food Fraud Initiative, within the College of Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University (USA).

Previously he was an Assistant Professor in the School of Criminal Justice in the College of Social Science at MSU. His 2009 Packaging PhD work, within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at MSU, was on Anti-Counterfeit Strategy and his broad research expands from Food Fraud to product fraud related business risks (including Enterprise Risk Management ERM and COSO), and a range of outreach activities that cover policy and trade issues. He teaches graduate courses: Packaging for Food Safety, Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection (Food Fraud), and Quantifying Food Risk. He is widely published in leading academic journals including “Defining the Public Health Threat of Food Fraud,” “Defining the Types of Counterfeiters, Counterfeiting, and Offender Organizations,” and “Introduction of the Food Fraud Initial Screening Method (FFIS).”

His leadership positions include product fraud related activities with “ISO 22000 Food Safety” and “TC292 Security Management/ Fraud Countermeasure,” WHO, GFSI Food Fraud Think Tank, and U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP). Global activities include engagements with the European Commission, INTERPOL and Operation Opson, New Zealand MPI, Codex Alimentarius, WHO/FAO, and served as Advisor on Food Fraud to the Chinese National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA).