Peas Please Project Board

This Board is the main driving force behind Peas Please.

Rebecca Tobi
Senior Business and Investor Engagement Manager

Rebecca joined the Food Foundation in January 2020, leading on the Peas Please initiative. These days she manages our business and investor engagement team, with oversight of our work engaging food businesses, investors and policy-makers with the need to transition the UK towards a more sustainable and healthy food system. This includes our Peas Please and Plating Up Progress projects.

Rebecca is a Registered Nutritionist (RNutr) with a background in science communication, joining the Food Foundation from the Nutrition Society. In a previous life, Rebecca worked 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 her favourite vegetable), a staunch advocate for evidence-based nutrition communication, and is passionate about structural changes that make healthy and sustainable diets accessible for all.

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Amber Wheeler
People's Engagement Manager

Amber joined The Food Foundation as People’s Engagement Manager in September 2019 having recently completed her PhD at the University of South Wales. The PhD looked at population fruit and vegetable requirements, and barriers and enablers to consumption. Through Participatory Action Research she was involved in developing the Peas Please initiative. For the last 10 years she also worked as a research consultant linking food production to health.

Previously, she worked in the community food movement in Wales, helping to establish allotments and community orchards. Before this she spent 5 years working in communities in Glasgow to improve diets and in 2004 gained an MSc, with distinction, in Public Health Nutrition from the University of Glasgow.

She is incredibly positive about vegetables and passionate about working with people to solve the problems of health inequality.

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Indu Gurung
Senior Project Officer

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 wellbeing, and sustainable and nutritious food system/diets. Indu is also a lover of veg, having recently taken up urban gardening.

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Sophie Peters
Veg Advocate Support Officer

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 an MSc in Nutrition from Kings College London and an 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.

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Pearl Costello
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.

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Michele Shirlow
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.


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Lindsay Curran
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 three-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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Prof Martin White

Martin White is programme leader and professor of population health research in the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge, where he leads publicly-funded research on understanding and changing food systems to improve population health. He has particular interests in food environments that shape what we eat, as well as the causes and consequences of, and interventions to reduce, social inequalities in health. He acts as an adviser to governments, the World Health Organisation and a number of non-governmental organisations. 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 the UK Society for Behavioural Medicine.

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Sofia Parente

Sofia is the Sustainable Food Places Policy and Campaigns Coordinator and leads on driving local and national action on key food issues for the network. This includes developing and coordinating campaigns, amplifying the voice of SFP members at a national level and advocating on specific issues where local priorities need national action. As part of this role, Sofia coordinates the Veg Cities campaign calling on local action to increase availability and consumption of vegetables.

Sofia has been working at Sustain since 2015 and during that time she led the roll out of the Sugar Smart campaign, from an idea piloted by a hand full of pioneer cities, to a national campaign with over 50 places involved. She coordinated the Good Food for London report which shines a light on action on good food by London boroughs and was a trustee of the Eating Better alliance.

She grew up on a farm in the north of Portugal and has a degree in Agronomy from the Technical University of Lisbon.

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Juliane Caillouette-Noble.
Juliane Caillouette-Noble

Juliane Caillouette-Noble came to the Sustainable Restaurant Association as Development Director in 2016 after five years of running Jamie Oliver’s programmes for improving school food and food education across the UK. The SRA is a not for profit membership organisation committed to accelerating change toward an environmentally restorative and socially progressive hospitality sector in the UK. As Development Director, Juliane’s role included designing and developing strategic partnerships and campaigns, ensuring that the impact and influence of the SRA grows along with the size of the membership body. Juliane became the Managing Director of the SRA in January and looks forward to working with the industry to build back better and greener post Covid.

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Kerry Melville
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.

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Mark Melville
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.

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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.

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Peas Please Advisory Board

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

Catherine Brown

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.

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Jack Ward
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.”

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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, and other parties and social organisations – with a common objective: to contribute to a rise in the consumption of fruit and vegetables for a healthier and 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.

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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 a 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.

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Victoria Sims

Vic is a policy adviser 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.

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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.

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Laura Harrison
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.

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