News & Updates

New chair for Food Standards Scotland

Heather Kelman has been appointed as the new chair of Food Standards Scotland (FSS), to succeed the organisation’s founding chair Ross Finnie.

She will take up the post from the start of April, and her appointment is for five years.

Ms Kelman has been a member of the FSS board since its creation in 2015. She 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.

FSS has a unique role in government, working independently of ministers and industry, to provide advice which is impartial, and based on robust science and data. Its remit covers all aspects of the food chain which can impact on public health – aiming to protect consumers from food safety risks and promote healthy eating.


Heather Kelman said:

“I am looking forward with great enthusiasm to leading Food Standards Scotland into the next phase of its development, as the country’s own independent authority on all-things-food and healthy eating.

"In its short life, under the excellent leadership of Ross Finnie, FSS has matured into a highly respected and influential organisation, with a clear vision of how the country should produce, sell and consume its food.  I hope to maintain and build on Ross’s achievements.

“But of course this is a long-term project and much work still needs to be done by the organisation, on improving the country’s diet and its nutritional knowledge, and on having the regulations and systems in place to ensure that the food we offer and produce, is safe to eat and of the very highest quality.”


Ross Finnie said: 

“I am absolutely delighted Heather Kelman has been announced to be my successor as chair of FSS from 1 April, 2022. Heather has been a highly effective board member over the last seven years and I am pleased her singular contribution to the work of the board has been rewarded by coming through the public appointments process to be appointed as chair.

“I look forward to working with Heather to effect a smooth handover, and thereafter I am confident she will provide FSS with her own style of highly effective leadership.”


FSS chief executive Geoff Ogle said:

“On behalf of all the staff in FSS we are delighted to welcome Heather into her new role as FSS’ chair. Heather is following in the foot-steps of Ross Finnie, who has been an excellent chair and I want to express my thanks to Ross for his invaluable contribution to FSS. It has been a pleasure to work with Ross.

“I look forward to working more closely with Heather in her new role as chair, to deliver our ambitious agenda, and having worked with Heather for some time there’s no doubt she will continue to be committed to protecting public health and looking after the interests of Scotland’s consumers.”


Heather Kelman has been a member of the Food Standards Scotland (FSS) Board since it was established in April 2015 and a member of the FSS Audit and Risk Committee from April 2020 and Nutrition Programme Board since July 2018. 

She 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.



Food Standards Scotland was established on 1 April 2015 as the new public sector food body for Scotland.

To protect the health and wellbeing of consumers, it has three objectives as set under the Food (Scotland) Act 2015:

  • To protect the public from risks to health which may arise in connection with the consumption of food
  • To improve the extent to which members of the public have diets which are conducive to good health
  • To protect the other interests of consumers in relation to food