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 £302.92 per day. The members’ posts are also part-time, for four days per month, and are paid at £228.92 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
Heather Kelman has been Chair of Food Standards Scotland (FSS) since April 2022 and a member of the FSS Board since it was established in April 2015. Heather was a member of the FSS Audit and Risk Committee from April 2020 to March 2022 and has been a member of the Nutrition Programme Board since July 2018.
Heather has 40 years’ experience of working in the public sector, the first 10 years as a dietitian, then as a strategic planner and senior manager within the NHS. Heather worked closely with Scottish Government and other Stakeholders on several health policy issues including the development of the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 and Healthcare Associated Infection.
Health protection, promoting positive health and wellbeing and addressing health inequalities were a particular focus throughout her career.
Heather’s childhood in Scotland was closely associated with food manufacture, retail and agriculture and she continues to have a strong interest in these, alongside protecting the environment and doing conservation work.
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 Phillip Couser MBE has worked at senior levels in the NHS in Scotland since 2013 and is currently a non-executive director on the Board of NHS Lanarkshire. Until July 2021 he was the Director of Data Driven Innovation in Public Health Scotland (PHS) and prior to this he was Director for Public Health and Intelligence in NHS National Services Scotland. From both of these roles he brings a strong interest in public health and a passion for data driven and digitally enabled transformation. Phillip’s NHS career started in 2008, gaining experience working in the Northeast of England and London. Prior to this, Phillip had an Army career, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. Highlights included regimental command and the award of an MBE for leadership in national logistic planning for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Ms Aileen Brown
- Dr Carol Evans
- Dr Carrie Ruxton
Finance and Business Committee
The Board has established Finance and Business Committee (FBC) as a Committee of the Board to give appropriate high-level oversight of financial and operational matters at Board level and support the translation of policy into effective results through a process of constructive challenge.
The FBC will meet at least four times per year.
Non-Executive Members are:
- Ms Louise Welsh, Chair
- Ms Aileen Brown
- Mr Alban Denton