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 of LGC. 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.

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, Food 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. 

Rachel Ward, Institute of Food Science & Technology

Rachel Ward is the Scientific Policy Director at the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST), where is responsible for the development of their scientific policy priorities and positions, and communication of these to stakeholders including membership and government. She is also responsible for the coordination, submission and communication of IFST consultation responses, in conjunction with our committees and the wider membership. In addition, she represents the Institute in a range of different academic, government and industry scientific and policy fora.


Rachel has more than 25 years’ experience in international strategy, standards and risk management for the food chain. With a BSc (Hons) in Applied Biochemistry and a PhD on in vitro skin toxicology models, Rachel has worked in various roles across the food industry including analytical laboratory management, supply chain quality assurance, regulatory compliance, scientific affairs and risk management. As an IFST Fellow, Rachel is actively involved in her local Midlands Branch, and several IFST special interest groups.

Rachel has a strong interest in food allergen risk management and is always interested in trying new gluten free and lactose free food products and recipes. She enjoys walking and exploring new places and loves singing in her local community gospel choir.

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.

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).