The Board

The members of FSS are informally known as ‘the Board’. They are appointed by Scottish Ministers, through an open, public process.

The Board provides FSS with strategic direction, oversight and governance. Our Board consists of a Chair and seven members. The Board meets regularly, in public. See our Board Meetings page for information on future and previous meetings, or search for Board agendas and papers.

The Chair’s post is part-time for eight days per month, and is paid at £301 per day. The members’ posts are also part-time, for four days per month, and are paid at £227 per day.

Board Members must adhere to the FSS Code of Conduct. You can read more of the Board Members Register of Interests and Gifts and Hospitality Register.

The 2020/21 report on the Gender Representation Objective, set out in the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018, can be read here.

Chair of the Board

Ross Finnie chair of the BoardMr Ross Finnie

Ross Finnie was appointed Chair of Food Standards Scotland when it was established in 2015. He brings extensive experience of working in both the public and private sectors.

Over the last eight years, in addition to chairing FSS he held the positions of: Vice-Chair of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board and a non-executive member of the Glasgow City Integrated Joint Board both of which were involved in public health issues such as foodborne disease, diet and obesity. He was also a non-executive member of the Water Industry Commission for Scotland.

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. 

Prior to entering the Scottish Parliament in 1999, Ross worked in the financial services sector latterly holding the position of director of corporate finance of a merchant bank and non-executive director of a number of SMEs.

Ross is currently a non-executive member of the Joint Management Board of the Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland and the Office of the Advocate General, with a time commitment of four days per month for this post.

Board members

Ms Aileen Brown

Aileen Brown has held Finance Director positions in a diverse range of sectors working with multi-disciplinary leadership teams. She had executive oversight of other disciplines such as HR, IT, legal, risk, compliance, and a detailed understanding of governance from working in regulated businesses, and as an auditor and risk management consultant at Ernst & Young.

Mr Alban Denton

Alban Denton has been involved in many of Scotland’s food businesses over the past 30 years and has held a range of Director and Managing Director roles in Kettle Produce, Grampian Food Group, Eden Esk Group, Warburton’s and, until he recently retired, he was the Managing Director of Loch Duart, one of Scotland’s salmon farmers. Alban was also a Director of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation and Chair of Scottish Quality Salmon.

Marieke DwarshuisMs Marieke Dwarshuis

Marieke’s career in Scotland spans over 20 years in the public and voluntary sector in a wide range of roles including Director of Consumer Focus Scotland and positions in the Scottish Government, Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator, Shelter Scotland and Citizens Advice Scotland. She brings expertise in corporate governance, regulation and in the management of organisational change, and has experience of representing the consumer interest in a range of fields.

Marieke is currently a non-executive member of the board of Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the Scottish Legal Aid Board.

Dr Carol Evans

Dr Carol Evans held senior European roles in PepsiCo, Kellogg’s and Reckitt Benckiser and was instrumental in improving food quality and re-design across Europe. With her combined chemistry / biochemistry PhD, food industry experience and 10 years pharmaceutical experience and personal research, she understands food components, additives and their effect on the body. 

Mrs Heather Kelman

Recently retired, Heather has a long-standing interest in food and the role it plays in health and wellbeing, and comes to FSS following a 33-year career in the NHS, where she worked initially as a dietician before moving into strategic planning and general management. Her formal qualifications include a BSc in Nutrition and Dietetics and an MBA, both of which she will benefit her current role.

Heather has previously served as a Director on the Board of Trustees of Voluntary Service Aberdeen (now VSA) and was an inaugural Director of Transition Extreme, where she gained experience in the development of a new organisation. She has also been a member of national task forces and working groups, most recently as co-Chair of the National Health and Wellbeing Outcomes Group. Heather is also employed by Buchan & Associates a specialist healthcare consultancy as a strategic healthcare planner and organisational change consultation.

Dr Carrie Ruxton

Dr Carrie Ruxton is a freelance registered dietician with more than 20 years’ experience. Carrie has worked with a diverse range of food companies to provide advice on communications and product development, as well as with NHS boards on their obesity strategies.

Carrie served as a member of the Scottish Food Advisory Committee from 1 March 2008 to 31 March 2015. Several of her public sector projects have involved stakeholder engagement and Carrie hopes to bring this experience plus communication skills to the Board.

Dr Susan Walker

Over the last 17 years, Sue has had a number of non-executive roles in the water, environment and rural sectors in Scotland, including as a founder member of the Cairngorms National Park Authority. She acted on behalf of consumers as a member of Waterwatch Scotland. Sue has previously served as Acting Chair of Scottish Natural Heritage. She is currently a member of the Local Government Boundary Commission for Scotland and is a member of the Customer Forum which negotiates with Scottish Water on behalf of customers regarding future spending plans and charges.

Sue lives on Deeside in Aberdeenshire and is a keen skier and hill walker. Sue has skills and knowledge of governance, strategy and communications including stakeholder engagement, and also has strengths in environmental science.

Ms Louise Welsh – Deputy Chair

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.

Audit and Risk Committee

The Board has established an Audit and Risk Committee (ARC) as a Committee of the Board to support them in their assurance responsibilities by providing independent advice. The ARC is responsible for reviewing in a non-executive capacity, the comprehensiveness of the executive’s assurances on governance, risk management and the control environment. It is also responsible for reviewing the integrity of financial statements and the annual report.

The ARC will meet at least four times per year.

Non-Executive Members are:

  • Dr Sue Walker, Chair
  • Dr Carrie Ruxton
  • Mrs Heather Kelman
  • Ms Marieke Dwarshuis