People and Governance – Food Systems SPF

Programme team

Executive Sponsor: Melanie Welham, Executive Chair BBSRC
SRO: Riaz Bhunnoo, Director of the Global Food Security Programme
Programme Manager: Flora Hetherington, Senior Manager, Global Food Security Programme
Programme Director: Professor Guy Poppy
Portfolio Manager: Nina Pugh

If you’d like to get in contact, send an email to

Programme Director

The Programme Director champions the programme providing visibility and strategic leadership over the lifetime of the programme. The Programme Director also provides scientific advice to the programme; ensures coordination and collaboration across the projects; nurtures the development of the interdisciplinary research community and drives knowledge into impacts and outcomes.

Professor Guy Poppy is a Professor of Ecology in Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton. He has significant experience in food system research and has advised governments around the world. He recently stepped down after 6 years as the FSA’s Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) and prior to this he directed the Interdisciplinary Research Strategy at the University of Southampton.

Programme Board and Advisory Group

Programme Board

The Food Systems SPF Programme is governed by a decision-making Programme Board of partner organisations working in health, environment, food systems, innovation and policy areas.

All partners are involved in shaping the programme and guiding its implementation. The differing focus and scope of each partner organisation ensures an interdisciplinary and systems approach is taken in all programme activities.

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
Economic and Social Research Council  (ESRC)
Medical Research Council (MRC)
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC)
Innovate UK
Public Health England (PHE)
Food Standards Agency  (FSA)

Programme Advisory Group

The Programme Advisory Group provides strategic and scientific advice and constructive challenge to the Programme Director and Programme Board. The Group is shared with the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) Transforming Food Production programme to maximise efficiency and to ensure coordination across the programmes, which together cover the whole food system.

Judith Batchelar (Chair), Sainsbury’s
Charles Godfray, University of Oxford
Ian Boyd, University of St Andrews
Helen Ferrier, NFU
Sue Pritchard, RSA Food, Farming & Countryside Commission
Adrian Percy, UPL
Amelia Jarman, Unilever
Bob Doherty, University of York
Christine Williams, University of Reading
Martin Caraher, City, University of London, Emeritus
Ashley Adamson, University of Newcastle
Louise Heathwaite, University of Lancaster
Belinda Clarke, Agri-techE