Key spokespeople are available at FSS to convey information and reassure the public around a wide range of issues relating to food. Our experts are happy to speak about various topics including:
- food safety, science and foodborne illness
- food and feed incidents or outbreaks
- food crime and food fraud
- nutrition and healthy eating
- the FSS Board, Brexit, and general public health issues.
For more information about any of our spokespeople please contact the FSS communications team.
Our key spokespeople are:
Ross Finnie has spent over thirty-five years in public life, and brings a wealth of experience to Food Standards Scotland. In addition to being Chair of FSS Ross is also Vice-Chair of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board a non-executive member of the Glasgow City Integrated Joint Board, and a non-executive member of the Water Industry Commission for Scotland. His membership of the Health Board and the Integrated Joint Board give him further relevant engagement in public health issues such as foodborne disease, diet and obesity.
For eight years, Ross was the Scottish Cabinet Minister for the Environment and Rural Development, which included responsibility for food, meat traceability and animal health and welfare. He was also an opposition spokesperson on health for four years, promoting, among other things, food standards and food safety.
Ross’s earlier career was in financial services specialising in corporate finance, serving on the Boards of two merchant banks and acting as a non-executive director on the Boards of a number of SMEs.
Louise Welsh has worked at a high level in the food industry for over 15 years, including five years in senior management at Morrisons, one of the UK’s big four supermarkets.
She has an in depth knowledge of all stages of the food chain: from the farm, through to processing and all the way to the end consumer. Prior to moving in to the food sector, Louise was a journalist and worked for BBC Scotland. She is a skilled communicator and negotiator.
Louise was the first woman to be appointed board member of Quality Meat Scotland, the red meat industry body. She was appointed Deputy Chair of FSS in June 2016. She has also been appointed as a board member for the Moredun Foundation.
Geoff was appointed the first Chief Executive of Food Standards Scotland, on 1 April, 2015. This followed his appointment as Acting Director for Food Standards Agency in Scotland in 2014. Before this, Geoff was Portfolio Director improving FSA’s approach to programme management.
Geoff joined the FSA in December 2008 and worked in field operations until 2013 with responsibility for all compliance and enforcement of FSA approved premises. He moved from that role to become the senior investigating officer for the horsemeat incident.
Geoff became the interim FSA Director for Wales in May 2013 until February 2014 where he gained valuable experience working in a devolved Government. Geoff has also undertaken a strategic review of the FSA’s approach to SMEs and was lead reviewer for the focus on enforcement review of OFSTED Early Years Inspection.
As Deputy Chief Executive & Director of Policy, Science and Operations at Food Standards Scotland, Ian oversees food and feed official controls delivery and policy, FSS science teams, local authority enforcement, incident and intelligence response, veterinary audit and technical advice. He also has overall responsibility for food premises approvals, shellfish controls including service level agreement, contract and performance management and wine standards.
Ian joined the Food Standards Agency in 2009 leading on the creation of the Operations Directorate, which brought the Meat Hygiene Service and Food Standards Agency together. He then led the Operations team in Scotland from 2012 working closely with Scottish Government to create Food Standards Scotland.
Ian worked with Environmental & Consumer Protection Services from 1990 until 2003 where he led a multi-disciplinary team delivering official controls in food, health and safety, environmental protection and public health.
As Head of Food Safety and Standards Policy, Garry oversees our regulatory policy function which covers all aspects of food and feed safety and hygiene policy, general food law, official food and feed and import controls as well as relevant matters relating to food labelling, standards and regulated products.
Garry’s most recent role as interim Director of Policy, Science, Finance and HR meant he was responsible for our food safety, nutrition and regulatory policy as well as maintaining responsibility for finance and HR. He also acted as the Senior Responsible Officer for delivery of our EU Exit and Nutrition programmes.
Prior to this, he was the FSS Corporate Services Director a role which gave him overall responsibility in the development of Corporate Services for Food Standards Scotland, including securing the governance arrangements after the transfer of functions from when we were the Food Standards Agency in Scotland.
Garry’s earlier career began in the Ministry of Defence in Westminster where he undertook a variety of different roles including project management, procurement, finance and business planning. He then moved to Scotland and was appointed as Head of Corporate Services in 2008 with the Food Standards Agency in Scotland.
Jacqui leads Food Standards Scotland’s science and evidence strategy and works closely with our Chief Scientific Advisor to provide assurance over our research and risk analysis processes. Jacqui worked for the Food Standards Agency in Scotland for 10 years as a senior scientific advisor in food safety. Her career followed a PhD in environmental science and 5 years of post-doctoral research in molecular microbiology and biochemistry.
Throughout her career, Jacqui has developed extensive experience in all areas of food safety, particularly the microbiological safety of food and the prevention of foodborne illness.
In her current role, she leads a team of scientific advisors who are responsible for all of FSS’s research, surveillance and risk assessment activities relating to food safety and food authenticity. She also provides oversight for data science and social research support across all areas of FSS’s remit.
Ron was initially a consultant for Food Standards Scotland and became the Head of the Scottish Food Crime & Incidents Unit in 2016 after being asked to build a food crime capability by the Chief Executive.
A former Senior Police Officer in Scotland, he retired from the Police in 2015, after 30 years’ service. During this period he served in a number of operational policing roles.
For the last 5 years of his police service, he was specifically involved in leading the investigation into serious and organised crime as Force Authorising Officer and Head of Intelligence for Tayside Police. In that role he was responsible for all force covert activity. Latterly Ron worked within the Police Service of Scotland's intelligence function and performed the role of Intelligence Commander for the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.