Our People

Learn about our team of industry experts

Ceri Ritchie

Ceri Ritchie

Sector Manager, SAC Consulting

Ceri Ritchie is Sector Manager for food and drink at SAC Consulting and has been involved in the industry for over 30 years. Ceri has held a number of industry-wide roles including representing SRUC on the Scotland Food & Drink Executive Group from 2007 to 2017.  Ceri now sits on the UK Market Development Group for Scotland Food & Drink, is a member of the Cross Party Group for Food, a Skills Ambassador for the Food and Drink Federation Scotland and a STEMNET Ambassador.  Ceri has worked with the Scottish food and drink industry since she moved to Scotland in 1991 having previously been a Buyer, Senior Buyer and Category Manager with the CWS in Manchester.

Fiona Richmond

Fiona Richmond

Special Projects Manager, Scotland Food & Drink

Fiona is the project lead for Connect Local at Scotland Food & Drink. She is a food and drink specialist with extensive knowledge of, and commitment to, the development of the local food industry and culture in Scotland. Since joining Scotland Food & Drink in 2009, she has successfully co-ordinated and delivered a range of major national projects including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink campaign, the strategic food and drink plan for the London 2012 Olympics and the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and Homecoming Scotland events. In addition, she is also responsible for the delivery of Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight.

Donna Fordyce

Donna Fordyce

Industry Engagement Specialist, Seafood Scotland

Donna Fordyce recently joined Seafood Scotland as an Industry Engagement Specialist. As part of the Connect Local project, Donna will lead on the Regional Showcase programme and Seafood Advisory Service for Seafood Scotland. Donna has an honours degree in Business Administration and has worked within Business Development for the past 15 years with Business Gateway and latterly Scottish Enterprise. Donna has worked within Food & Drink with a sector remit of seafood for Scottish Enterprise for the past 6 years working closely with seafood companies across Scotland. Donna has been an observer on the Seafood Scotland Board, a member of the working group for Scottish Seafood Partnership and PAC member for the EMFF fund. Donna also in a Non-Executive Board Member of Dundee and Angus College.

James Withers

James Withers

Chief Executive, Scotland Food & Drink

James has spent 16 years working in the agri, food and drink sectors, fostering collaboration and market development.  At SF&D, James leads a staff team and heads up a broader industry and public sector partnership focused on increasing the value and reputation of Scottish food and drink.  James is also a Board member of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, which is driving forward a new, ambitious tourism strategy for Scotland, including a focus on connecting the tourism and local food and drink sectors.  James also sits on a range of private and public sector national strategic groups, connected to his work with SF&D.

Alistair Trail

Alistair Trail

Food and Drink Consultant , SAC Consulting

Alistair joined SAC Consulting as a Food and Drink Consultant in January 2017 and his main role in the Connect Local project is to respond to one-to-one enquiries from companies looking for support. Alistair has over 12 years experience working with the food and drink industry and has expertise in supply chains, funding, developing consortiums to deliver projects, knowledge exchange, business development, feasibility studies, environmental management, food waste  and resource efficiency.

Alan Stevenson

Alan Stevenson

Supply Chain Development Director

Alan leads all SAOS supply chain development activity, including local and regional food initiatives, supply chain collaboration, food innovation and sector strategic development initiatives.  He is extremely well networked across the Scottish and UK food and drink sector from primary producer to end user, and has extensive knowledge of the seafood, red meat, bakery and dairy sectors in particular. Alan will be supporting the Connect Local team as required, and more specifically working on product and ingredient sourcing activity, building networks and group development.

Rona Sutherland

Rona Sutherland

Supply Chain Development Manager, SAOS

Rona brings substantial knowledge, networks and specific supply chain sector expertise.  She has a wealth of experience in brokering potential trading introductions between manufacturers/wholesalers and producers to encourage greater sourcing of fresh, seasonal, local and sustainable produce, strengthening the local food economy and shortening supply chains.  Rona has also been involved with developing collaborative groups, preparing PGI applications, testing/developing routes to market, supply chain innovation and commercialising new ideas, bringing more profitable products and services to market at an accelerated pace.

Kerry Allison

Kerry Allison

Senior Food and Drink Consultant, SAC Consulting

Kerry is a Senior Food and Drink Consultant, with over 10 years experience working within the food service and production Industries. Kerry works for SAC Consulting, part of SRUC, and previously worked with one of the UK’s leading Craft Breweries and had a wide range of roles within the business functioning as Operations Manager for five years, and then stepping into a senior Global Brand and Marketing role.

Kerry advises on Brand Management and Development, Marketing Strategy, Digital Strategy and Social Media,Business Development, Sales Growth, Key Account Management, New Product Development, and Export priorities. Kerry is also the alcohol and beverages expert in the Connect Local team.

Paul Mayfield

Paul Mayfield

Food and Drink Team, SAC Consulting

Paul is an SAC Consulting food and drink team member bringing many years of management, sales, marketing and project management experience.  He leads the team’s FPMCG work and project manages SAC Consulting’s delivery of the Market Driven Supply Chains project.  Prior to joining SAC Consulting, Paul worked for the IGD Food Chain Centre tasked with project managing and delivering elements of the UK government Sustainable Farming and Food Strategy in England and Wales.

Calum Johnston

Calum Johnston

Food and Drink Consultant – SAC Consulting

Calum Johnston joined SAC Consulting in April 2018 following two years working in Commercial Industry. Calum previously worked as a potato trader with one of the UK’s leading potato wholesalers and had a range of roles including; procurement, agronomy, logistics, customer and supplier relations, and liaising with the UK’s multiple retailers.

Calum attained a 1st Class BA (Hons) Degree in Rural Business Management specialising in Agri-Food at SRUC and represented the college at the prestigious Oxford Farming Conference in January 2016. Calum has practical farming knowledge currently living and working on a diversified farming business based in Perthshire.

Clare Dean

Clare Dean

Trade Marketing Manager, Seafood Scotland

With a degree in Food Marketing Management, Clare has worked in a variety of food sectors throughout her career and holds a wide range of experience and knowledge of food production and marketing throughout the supply chain. Clare has been with Seafood Scotland over five years, working in many key target markets globally.

Clare manages the Connect Local project for Seafood Scotland, delivering marketing activities to raise awareness of Scottish Seafood and develop opportunities for the industry at a hyper local, pan Scotland and UK national level.

Clare MacDougall

Clare MacDougall

Trade Marketing Manager (UK and North America), Seafood Scotland

Clare joined Seafood Scotland in July 2015 as Trade Marketing Manager, to raise awareness of, and promote the Scottish seafood industry. As well as this she provides support to Scottish companies in a range of ways including marketing assistance and market insight knowledge. Clare works on the Connect Local project for Seafood Scotland, delivering marketing activities to raise awareness of Scottish Seafood and develop opportunities for the industry at a local, pan Scotland and UK national level.

Natalie Bell

Natalie Bell

Trade Marketing Manager (Asia, Europe and Middle East), Seafood Scotland

Natalie joined Seafood Scotland in July 2015 as Trade Marketing Manager, to raise awareness of, and promote the Scottish seafood industry. As well as this she provides support to Scottish companies in a range of ways including marketing assistance and market insight knowledge. Natalie works on the Connect Local project for Seafood Scotland, delivering marketing activities to raise awareness of Scottish Seafood and develop opportunities for the industry at a local, pan Scotland and UK national level.

Diane Whittle

Diane Whittle

Administrator, SAC Consulting

Diane’s role at SAC Consulting is providing administrative support for the SAC Food and Drink Team.  She is extremely organised, has excellent communication skills, and is experienced in financial procedures and systems.  She provides the main administrative support to the Connect Local team.

Patrick Hughes

Patrick Hughes

Head of Seafood Scotland

Patrick Hughes joined Seafood Scotland from SAC Consulting, the consulting arm of the Scotland’s Rural College, where he was the Senior Food and Drink consultant. He worked closely with food & drink businesses across Scotland to highlight best practise, identify collaborative opportunities and facilitate key learnings that would affect growth, profitability and greater commercialisation of the sector.

As part of his previous role, Patrick led the Scottish Government-funded Think Local which involved working across the food & drink landscape in Scotland, directly assisting companies seeking to grow their businesses through diversification, adding value or expanding market opportunities.

Patrick graduated from The Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen and has since spent just over 20 years working across the industry including a number of years in the North-East seafood sector. It is this combination of food and drink expertise, first-hand seafood knowledge and direct experience as a seafood producer that he will bring the Connect Local team.