Peas Please Project Board

This board is the main driving force behind Peas Please.

Anna Taylor

Anna joined the Food Foundation as its first Executive Director at the beginning of June 2015 after 5 years at the Department for International Development.  At DFID Anna led the policy team on nutrition and supported the delivery of the UK’s global commitments to tackle undernutrition.

Before joining DFID Anna worked for a number of international organisations including Save the Children and UNICEF and has been at the forefront of international leadership on nutrition for several years and supporting programmes in a wide range of contexts in Africa and South Asia.   Anna has also worked for the UK Department of Health. In 2014 she was awarded an OBE for her work to address the global burden of undernutrition.  She did a MSc in Human Nutrition at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1994.  In May 2017 Anna became a member of the London Food Board to advise the Mayor of London and the GLA on the food matters that affect Londoners.

Rebecca Tobi

Rebecca joined the Food Foundation in January 2020, leading on the Peas Please initiative. Rebecca is a registered associate nutritionist with a background in science communication and public affairs and joins the Food Foundation from the Nutrition Society.

In a previous life, Rebecca worked for a number of years in strategic account management and business development in the marketing and tech sectors before deciding to move into nutrition, obtaining a MSc in ‘Nutrition for Global Health’ at the London School of Hygiene and Medicine.

Rebecca is a lover of veg (peas really are one her favourite vegetables), a staunch advocate for evidence-based nutrition communication, and is particularly interested in food policy-making and sustainable diets having previously conducted research into eco-labelling with the SHEFS research consortium.

Amber Wheeler

Amber is a consultant and works closely with Food Cardiff and Food Sense Wales to deliver Peas Please in Wales. After graduating from Oxford with a BA in Human Sciences she moved to Glasgow where she worked in the community to improve diet. During that time, she received a distinction for her MSc in Public Health Nutrition at the University of Glasgow. Back home in Wales she set up an allotment and community orchard project and became involved with Peas Please through her participatory research, on fruit and vegetable requirements and a systemic approach to public health nutrition, for her PhD at the University of South Wales.

Indu Gurung

Indu joined the Food Foundation in 2019 as part of the Rank Foundation’s Time to Shine scheme, moving into a Project Officer role in 2020. She works on the Peas Please and Plating up Progress projects. Prior to joining the Food Foundation, Indu completed a MSc in Public Health and a BSc in Human Nutrition. She is interested in reducing health inequalities, children’s health and well-being, and sustainable and nutritious food system/diets. Indu is also a lover of veg, having recently taken up urban gardening.

Sophie Peters

Sophie joined the Food Foundation in August 2020 as the Veg Advocate Support Officer for England, working within our Peas Please project. Sophie is passionate about people and behaviour change with previous experience in managing communities and running successful engagement programmes. With continued interest in how we can change our systems, Sophie is studying a part time MSc in Sustainability and Behaviour Change.

Pete Ritchie

Pete is a trustee of the Food Ethics Council and a member of the Scottish Food Commission.  His favourite vegetable is celeriac.

He has three children, a moderately dysfunctional (4.3 on the RD Laing scale) family life, and a working sheepdog called Lucy who still hasn’t quite been forgiven for not being Lily who died a year ago.  He has pretty much no hobbies as when he’s not doing his day job he is chasing pigs round a muddy field and wondering how to both pay the wages and get the tractor fixed at his almost but not quite viable organic farming business.  But if he ever did get a job interview he would say how much he likes reading, hillwalking, cooking and cycling.

Simon Kenton-Lake

Simon Kenton-Lake works for food justice NGO Nourish Scotland and leads on the Peas Please project in Scotland. He has an MSc in Environmental Resources and his professional background is in behaviour change, especially around responding to the climate and biodiversity emergencies, network support and effective partnership working.  He is passionate about food, setting up various food projects in Oxfordshire before moving to Edinburgh in 2019. When not eating or cooking he likes to run up hills and sit in pubs.

Katie Palmer

Katie was appointed in her current role as Sustainable Food Cities Co-ordinator for Food Cardiff in April 2014 and is working in partnership with the public, private and third sectors to generate a fair and vibrant food economy in Cardiff. Under this programme, Cardiff has become one of the first UK first cities to be granted Sustainable Food City Status and has led on the development of the award winning School Holiday Enrichment Programme.

Katie is a member of the Food and Drink Wales Industry Board and the Wales Food Poverty Alliance. She is also working in partnership with the Food Power programme, led by Sustain and Church Poverty in Action, as a Peer Mentor to support emerging Food Poverty Alliances to tackle food poverty and address its root causes in communities across Wales.

Building on the success of Food Cardiff, Katie is currently supporting the development of the National charity, Food Sense Wales, which will help shape food policy that makes sense across the whole of the food system in Wales. Food Sense Wales will lead on the development of Peas Please in Wales.

Katie has a Masters an MSc in Nutrition from Kings College London and MSc in Food Policy with distinction at City University.  She has a background in Food and Nutrition and also worked in Local Government as part of the Leader plus project in Monmouthshire to promote local food businesses.

Pearl Costello

Pearl Costello is a sustainability change-maker and is leading Cardiff’s Sustainable Food Places programme through Food Cardiff.

Pearl previously led an ambitious and transformational sustainability programme at the Royal Agricultural University, winning multiple awards including the Guardian University Award for Sustainability Project in 2016. She also developed innovative engagement and behaviour change programmes with the National Union of Students.

Pearl’s role in Peas Please is to support local place-based action through Veg Cities and facilitate and empower the people’s voice on veg.

Michele Shirlow

Michele is the Chief Executive of FoodNI, a membership organisation dedicated to enhancing the reputation of Northern Ireland’s food and drink, representing over 450 member companies (including 200 Taste of Ulster Restaurants) and acting as a strategic driver to support the industry to achieve greatness. Michele was central to delivery in 2016 of the first ever Year of Food and Drink, which increased positive visitor attitudes towards Northern Ireland food and drink by 23% and resulted in Northern Ireland winning the International Travel and Tourism Awards – Best Food Destination 2018-19.  She is now spearheading the Our food, the power of good strategy to establish Northern Ireland as a leading food region in the UK by 2025.

Lindsay Curran

Lindsay grew up on her parents’ vegetable farm in Co. Down, Northern Ireland and helped with all areas of the business from planting, harvesting, packing and delivering fresh, seasonal vegetables to customers from a very young age.

Lindsay is an Honours Graduate of University of Ulster, Masters Graduate of Queens University, Belfast, and holds a Diploma in Marketing, Advertising and PR from Queens University, Belfast. She completed a 3 month work placement with Food NI in 2009, and has been working with Food NI ever since. Lindsay has a great interest in vegetable consumption, and completed her MSc Thesis on ‘The lack of knowledge children have on where their food comes from.’

Lindsay’s main role is to manage and create opportunities for 200+ food and drink producers, processors and retailers who are members of Food NI.

Food NI is a not for profit, membership organisation and works to enhance the reputation of food and drink from Northern Ireland. In 2018, Northern Ireland won ‘Best Food Destination’ at the World Travel Market International Travel and Tourism Awards for a very successful 2016 Year of Food and Drink.

In her spare time, Lindsay enjoys spending time with her husband and two young children, running, cooking, going on long walks and spending time with friends and family.

Peas Please Strategy board

This board leads on strategy development and delivers the monitoring and evaluation. Terms of Reference are available here.

Atul Patel

Atul is a key member of PwC UK’s Performance Assurance practice, taking a lead role in advising and guiding a variety of organisations in establishing new innovative ways to measure, monitor and report on their performance and impacts – specifically those that go beyond traditional financial metrics.

With over 20 years of experience in governance, risk and control, Atul is leading the development of appropriate frameworks, organisational arrangements and assurance of a diverse range of measures.  He is working with a broad range of clients on the emergence and rising importance of measuring impacts – most recently he has developed the PwC Insight Report that is helping organisations to be more transparent about their evolving performance measures and thereby instilling greater confidence in their stakeholders.

In addition to his client work, Atul has worked with external organisations in an advisory capacity on how they establish pragmatic measurement, reporting and monitoring frameworks for their members.

Richard Swannell

Richard is Development Director for WRAP- a UK charity, at the forefront of the circular economy – thought leaders, champions of action and catalysts for change.

Richard joined WRAP in 2004, leading the team that created and delivered the innovative ‘Courtauld Commitment’ – the first agreement of its kind between WRAP and UK supermarket retailers committed to an ambitious and collaborative approach to packaging and food waste reduction. Between 2007 and 2012 this voluntary agreement, together with WRAP’s internationally-renowned Love Food Hate Waste campaign, helped reduce packaging and food waste by more than 3 million tonnes, reducing carbon emissions by over 8 million tonnes.

As Development Director, Richard leads on developing and delivering WRAP’s international and new product development strategies. A particular focus is on delivering the relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals e.g 12.3 on halving food waste reduction.

Giles Quick

Director of Kantar WorldPanel, Giles has 30 years’ experience in food and drink research (age does not bestow wisdom). Professionally, he is responsible for the Worldpanel consumption services – covering food, drink and personal care, and also health and nutritional tracking.His recent work focuses on health, obesity
and nutrition and includes work with the FSA and FDF on the nutritional composition of UK shopping baskets.

He is a regular contributor to TV and Radio and has given many lectures on food and food consumption in the UK and internationally.

Professor Martin White

Martin White is programme leader in the Centre for Diet & Activity Research (CEDAR), MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge, where he leads research on understanding and changing food systems to improve population health. He has particular interests in: food environments that shape what we eat; and the causes and consequences of, and interventions to reduce, social inequalities in health.

Martin is also Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Public Health Research Programme, and a visiting professor in the Institute of Health & Society at Newcastle University, where until 2014 he was Director of Fuse, UKCRC Centre for Translational Research in Public Health.

Martin graduated in Medicine from Birmingham University, from which he also gained an MD, and has an MSc in public health from Newcastle University. He is a Fellow of the UK Faculty of Public Health, past President of the UK Society for Social Medicine, and President- of the UK Society for Behavioural Medicine.

Ben Reynolds

Ben has been working at Sustain since 2004, and as Acting Coordinator (2014 – 2015) developed Sustain’s first overarching strategy. Recently, Ben has worked with Jamie Oliver’s team to get the government to adopt a sugary drinks tax, and set up of the Children’s Health Fund which distributes money from a 10p voluntary sugary drinks levy from restaurants. Between 2004 – 2013, Ben edited the free ethical London food magazine The Jellied Eel, and took it from an 8 page newsletter to a free colour magazine with a 50,000 readership. Ben was a founding member of the Sustainable Food Cities network launched in 2013. In 2007, after authoring the report Edible Cities, Ben came up with the idea for the Capital Growth project, supported by the Mayor of London, to create 2,012 food growing spaces in London by 2012, and following that the Big Dig, which encourages volunteering on community food gardens around the UK. In 2005/06 Ben and his team successfully ran the consultation on the Mayor of London’s Food Strategy. Ben is a trustee of the charity School Food Matters. He has also been a member of the London Food Board, chair of Growing Greenwich, and between 2008 -2012 was a member of the selection panel for the Big Lottery Fund’s local food grants programme.

Kerry Melville

Kerry is a sustainability expert who joined Belfast Food Network as its first Coordinator in 2014, overseeing a network of organisations that secured a Sustainable Food Cities award in 2016. She has 20 years experience of managing participatory urban regeneration projects in post conflict Belfast. Kerry specialises in community development, empowerment, stakeholder relationships, participatory practices,conflict resolution, stakeholder analysis, fundraising and delivering award winning, challenging projects. Kerry completed a MSc in Sustainable Development and Environment at University College London, following a degree in International Development. You’ll find her pottering in her herb garden or cooking up sumptuous banquets made with fresh, local and seasonal produce.

Mark Spires

As a Research Fellow at the Centre for Food Policy (City, University of London), Mark is responsible for establishing and leading new, interdisciplinary projects exploring public policy solutions for healthy diets in the UK and internationally. Mark’s primary research interests here centre on seeking to better understand peoples’ lived experiences of local food environments, and how findings from these inquiries can contribute to more effective and inclusive food policy.

Prior to his current position, Mark completed his PhD in Public Health at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa where he researched low-income community access to safe and nutritious food. Prior to that, he worked as a Research Program Manager at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Institute for Global Tobacco Control.

Jack Hamilton

A sixth generation son of the soil, Jack grew up on the family farm that would become Mash Direct.  He helped to dig and peel the first Mash Direct products before embarking a career interlude into journalism that would take him around the world from Nigeria to Washington DC to London and back to Comber.  Jack put social media at the heart of the company’s growth strategy and Mash Direct is now available in over 5,000 stores around the UK and Ireland as well as on shelves in Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and New York.


  • 2017 Business Man of the Year – Ulster Tatler
  • 2017 Northern Ireland Young Business Person of the Year – Belfast Telegraph
  • 2015 Future Leader Award – Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association
  • 2015 Top New Talent – The Grocer

Peas Please Advisory Board

This board advises the Project Board on strategy. Terms of Reference are available here.

Catherine Brown (Chair)

Catherine has worked in large and small businesses, the NHS, and most recently was CEO of the Food Standards Agency, where she developed an interest in supporting people to make behaviour changes that were good for them and the planet. She has always had an involvement in the third sector and a passion for equality and diversity, and social change, non-conformity and innovation in general. Currently, as well as being part of the Hubbub Board Catherine is also on her local NHS Board in Abergavenny and a member of the Wellcome Foundation’s Advisory Panel on Diversity and Inclusion in Science.

Jack Ward

Jack has a wealth of experience in the Horticultural and Agricultural industries. Having worked for the NFU as Regional Director in the East Midlands and CEO of City & Guilds NPTC, Jack’s primary objective is for British Growers to be recognised as a major force in the representation and promotion of a world class produce industry as well as providing high quality and commercially relevant services to our member organisations.

“Outside work I am an active Oarsman competing at both national and international levels. The sport requires a blend of fitness, concentration and a desire for continuous improvement – the perfect accompaniment to life at the office.”

James Lowman

James was appointed ACS Chief Executive in November 2006, since when he has re-focused the organisation on being the strongest possible voice for local shops. He has led a unique research programme that informs ACS’ policy work, launched an industry-leading assured advice scheme in partnership with Surrey County Council, created a new and unique events programme, and increased membership and engagement from all parts of the industry. He has been recognised for his work with outstanding achievement awards from Palmer & Harvey, YIGA, and the Retail Industry Awards. James is a member of ministerial advisory groups including the Future High Streets Forum, the National Retail Crime Steering Group and the Retail Policy Forum. He also sits on the boards of Community Alcohol Partnerships and the Proof of Age Standards Scheme (PASS).

James joined ACS in 1997 and progressed to Public Affairs Director, running all ACS policy and communications work including successful campaigns to preserve Sunday trading laws in 2006, to see the grocery market referred to the Competition Commission in 2005, and to support members during the transition to the Licensing Act 2003. James has a degree in Politics from the University of Essex, and an MBA from Kingston Business School.

Karin Bemelmans

Karin Bemelmans is the coordinator of the National Fruit and Vegetable Action Plan

The Action Plan is a partnership between government, the fresh produce sector, the retail sector an other parties, social organizations, with a common objective: to contribute to a rise in the consumption of fruit an vegetables for a healthier an sustainable society.

The goal of the Action Plan is to stimulate the consumption of fruit and vegetables. It started in 2017 and will run until the end of 2020.

Choose Colour is an initiative of the Dutch National Action Plan. Choose Colour is the main fruit and vegetable campaign in the Netherlands, which helps you make your life, but above all your plate, more colourful and healthier with a variety of fruit and vegetables. Choose Colour and enjoy the rich and colourful variety of fruit and vegetables.

Karin Bemelmans is a nutritionist with a lot of experience in the food industry and communications on healthy nutrition. She has worked for the Netherlands Nutrition Centre for more than 10 years, as well as for the Ministry of Health in the Netherlands.

Important partner of the Action plan is the Fresh Produce Centre, the centre of expertise in the Netherlands for fruits and vegetables with a global outreach. The Fresh Produce Centre supports their 300 member organisations in all kinds of activities.

Peter Faassen de Heer

Peter is a Diet Policy Executive in the Scottish Government’s Health Improvement Division where he has worked since 2003.  Since that time he has developed with stakeholders the Scottish Government’s Healthy Living Programme which helps convenience stores to promote healthier options including fruit and veg, the Healthyliving Award which promotes healthier practices in catering and most recently the Healthcare Retail Standard which has transformed retail outlets in hospitals to make them more health promoting.  Most recently, Peter has helped to draft the Scottish Government’s consultation on their new diet and healthy weight strategy, with a particular interest in advertising practice.

Peter holds a degree in politics and international relations from Aberdeen University and teaching qualification.  He has represented Scotland 42 times in Touch Rugby and now heads up the sport’s European Referee Commission in his ‘spare’ time.

Shaleen Meelu

Co-Founder of the Harborne Food School, Shaleen Meelu, is a registered nutritionist and previously worked in public health. She has a degree in Biochemistry from Imperial College and Masters in Human Nutrition from Sheffield University. Her vision for the Food School is to create a space that enables the public to make healthier, more sustainable food choices. Shaleen’s last formal role was as a Senior Nutrition Scientist for Public Health England where she updated the national guide to Healthier, More Sustainable Catering and she is currently advising Birmingham City Council on obesity strategy. Shaleen is passionate about community food development and acknowledges the role that culture and society play in influencing food choice. She is responsible for creating the varied timetable of activity on offer at Harborne Food School and continues to train NHS employees and deliver health and wellbeing workshops and activities across a variety of settings

Victoria Sims

Vic is a policy advisor working with the Food Standards and Consumers team in the Agri-Food Chain Directorate at DEFRA. Having progressed from a career as a teacher of economics, business studies and food tech, she completed a masters in Food, Wine and Culture at Oxford Brookes School of Hospitality Management in 2013. With a growing interest in sustainable diets, she moved on to create a freelance role supporting food businesses keen to promote greater sustainability.

Alongside her policy development work, she continues to be involved with young people, helping on cookery courses and developing educational materials that encourage greater understanding and practical engagement with food and nutrition. She has also been a judge for Great Taste Awards, and volunteers as a food waste hero with Plan Zheroes at Borough Market.

Now that Vic’s twins have flown the nest, she spends any free time walking in the Black Mountains and buying second hand cookery books in Hay-on-Wye. At home, she cooks, keeps hens and grows her own veg.

Tim Smith

Tim is currently acting as an advisor to Tesco on food policy, including health, agriculture and food waste. In October 2012 Tim joined Tesco as the Group Quality Director, prior to this he was the Chief Executive of the UK’s Food Standards Agency for five years. Tim graduated from Leeds University with a degree in Microbiology and Zoology. Before his spell as a regulator he had spent his entire career in the food business: from 1979 to 1994 he was at Northern Foods, finishing his career there as a Divisional Director. After five years at Sara Lee Corporation, where he was President of the UK business he joined Express Dairies PLC as Executive Director. Express Dairies merged with Arla Foods in October 2003, where he was appointed Chief Executive in early 2005. Tim holds a number of external advisory and charity roles.

Dr Modi Mwatsama

Modi Mwatsama is Senior Science Lead (Food Systems, Nutrition and Health) with the Wellcome Trust’s Our Planet, Our Health programme where she heads research, partnership and policy work on healthy diets and sustainable food systems. She was formerly Director of Policy and Global Health at the UK Health Forum where she led policy research and advocacy on non-communicable disease prevention across UK, European and UN institutions. During this time she helped to secure the inclusion of sustainability considerations within the UK Government’s Eatwell Guide to healthy eating and win health-promoting changes to the EU Common Agriculture Policy.

Modi is a Registered Nutritionist and member of the BBC Rural Affairs Committee. She has served on several national advisory committees including Public Health England groups on dietary guidelines, sugar, nutrient profiling and global health. She holds a Doctorate in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


Tessa Tricks

Tessa leads the food programmes at environmental behaviour change charity Hubbub and is motivated by how we can use food to improve health, culture and environment.

Over the last 5 years she’s been creating campaigns to reduce food waste, increase food skills, and promote low meat diets, working with leading brands, local Government and community groups to create lasting change.

She has a Masters in the Anthropology of Food and has previously worked in food communications, journalism and as a cook at the Ethicurean restaurant. Her campaigning and academic work have fostered a deep seated curiosity in the social dynamics of meat and she has made contributions on the issue to the Oxford Food Symposium, the Sustainable Food Trust and TEDx, among others.

Tessa is a trustee at Eat Club, a charity increasing access to food skills for youth in London and is a member of the Medinge group, a think tank of global brand fanatics who push businesses to use their power as a force for good.

Laura Harrison

Laura is a Healthy Weight and Workplace Settings senior manager in the Welsh Government’s Public Health Division which she joined in 2019. Having worked in the Welsh Government for over 10 years, and at the heart of the organisation as Private Secretary to two Permanent Secretaries and the Director General for Health and Social Services/ NHS Chief Executive, Laura has a wealth of knowledge around the workings of government and the health system. Since joining the Healthy and Active Team she has developed strong relationships with stakeholders in the development of the Healthy Weight: Healthy Wales Strategy. Laura is focused on the implementation of the strategy and the forthcoming delivery plans to enable positive changes around healthy eating and physical activity for the people of Wales.

Laura has a Foundation degree focused in Government from University of Portsmouth.  She has a young daughter, and hopes to ensure that food in our education settings is the best it can be for her future.