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Our team Commission

The FixOurFood Commission provides a cohesive voice for Yorkshire food system transformation supporting healthy people, a healthy planet and thriving businesses. It works alongside stakeholders to action change in food policy, remodel supply chains and public food procurement, improve dietary health, particularly in young people, and support innovation in regenerative practices.

  • David A Kerfoot CBE DL – Chair


    David founded The Kerfoot Group jointly with his wife Elizabeth in 1980 using £300 capital which grew to sales of over £80 million on a global basis exporting to over 50 countries. The company process, pack and distribute vegetable oils on three sites in the Port of Goole with a subsidiary in Poland and a sales office in New York. The group’s main markets are food manufacturing, cosmetics and aromatherapy, its head office being in Northallerton. The Group was sold to French agricultural giant Avril in 2015.

    He is a passionate social entrepreneur and has a long history of community service. A founding member of the  LEP for York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding, he was Deputy Chair for five years and chairman for 3 years until April 2021. Chairman of Pendragon Community Trust for 20 years which he helped found to build a facility for the multi disabled, trustee of Hambleton Foodshare, patron of the Samaritans and Clean Slate Solutions and founder of an initiative called Smile for Moldova which supported people in the poorest country in Europe. A lifelong activist in the Prison Service as well as being a trustee of Breadline. He is a Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire and was High Sheriff of North Yorkshire for the year 2020-21.

    David has done many things in his life including being full time president of the student’s union at Sheffield Polytechnic (now Hallam University), speaking at the United Nations in New York and over the last three years giving evidence at Parliamentary Committees on subjects such as small business and growth prospects for our region. He is passionate about helping small business and developing the region.

    He is an honorary life member of Sheffield Hallam University Students Union, an honorary life senator of Junior Chamber International, Hambleton Champion 2014-15 and was awarded the MBE in 2009 for services to business and the community in Northallerton and HM Prison Service. In 2022 he was awarded the CBE for services to rural business, charity and the voluntary sector.

    His hobbies are collecting political memorabilia from 1780-1914 which he wants to write a book on, gardening, trying to play tennis, Sheffield Wednesday FC and rock music.

  • Jan Thornton MBE – Vice Chair


    Jan has been a community activist in the West Yorkshire village where she lives for over thirty years. She has been involved in the Voluntary Sector since first becoming a trustee of the rural community council for Yorkshire in its various iterations (now Community First Yorkshire) since 2005, of which she is currently Vice Chair.

    She has been a trustee of ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) since 2009 and is currently Vice Chair, but retiring from the Board shortly.  Other previous VCS roles include Vice Chair of Involve Yorkshire & Humber (2010-16) and Chair, North East Regional Committee for Guinness Northern Counties Housing Association (2009-13).

    She has been Vice Chair of the Yorkshire Food Farming & Rural Network (YFFRN) since 2016 and a member since its inception in 2012.  As part of her role within the YFFRN, she has represented rural interests on the European Structural & Investment Fund (ESIF) Committees nationally and locally in West Yorkshire and York, North Yorkshire and the East Riding, since 2014. She was an active member of DEFRA’s RDPE stakeholder group from 2018 – 2022. She currently sits on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund Local Partnership groups for both West and North Yorkshire and the North Yorkshire Food Strategy group. She was a member of the West Yorkshire Mayor’s Green Skills Task Force and represents ‘rural’ on the West Yorkshire Mayoral Authority’s Private Sector engagement group.

    She has been a member of the York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership Board since 2020 and is Deputy Chair of Grow Yorkshire.

    She is passionate about all things rural and was awarded the MBE for Services to rural communities in Yorkshire in 2022.

  • Photo of Bob Doherty

    Bob Doherty – Academic Advisor


    Bob is one of the Directors of FixOurFood, Professor of Marketing and Dean of the School for Business and Society at the University of York. Bob specialises in research on hybrid organisations and the management aspects of fair trade organisations and social enterprises.

    He is currently a trustee on the board of the Fairtrade Foundation and a member of the Grow Yorkshire Board. Bob sits on the UKRI Sustainable Agriculture and Food Strategy Advisory Panel in the BBSRC Research Council. Prior to moving into academia Bob spent 5-years as the Head of Sales and Marketing at the Fairtrade social enterprise pioneer Divine Chocolate Ltd and 8 years in the Global Animal Health Industry.

    Email: bob.doherty@york.ac.uk

     

     

  • Belinda Morris – Administrative support


    FixOurFood Operations Director

  • Sophie Stewart – Administrative support


    FixOurFood Programme Manager

  • Vincent Walsh, Circular and Regenerative Infrastructures


    Dr Vincent Walsh is a leading circular and regenerative food and agriculture expert in the UK. He is a consultant to some of the UK’s biggest food and beverage organisations, supporting them on projects and product development aligned to net zero targets.

    Current clients include global food service business Compass Group (and its subsidiaries Levy UK + Ireland and Lime Venue Portfolio), and QuornPro (the food service division of the meat-free Quorn brand).

    Further he is an advisor to the Plant Based Food Alliance, and works closely with organisations such as the Organic Research Centre (ORC) on issues such as carbon capture and soil health.

    Vincent also acts as a mentor to young farmers as part of Defra’s Farming Innovation Programme, and has supported cohorts of social entrepreneurs on the Zinc Venture Builder programme.

    As well as being a farming and food consultant, Vincent is a dynamic entrepreneur who applies his experience to create food businesses and brands.

    In the last five years he has founded RegenfarmCo a regenerative agriculture company which works with farmers and landowners to replace monoculture with more circular growing processes;  Mycoloops, a start-up which up-cycles food and other waste to create high-grade organic compost; and Herblabism, a plant-based food brand developed specifically for the food service sector

  • Paul Davison, Children & Families Living Well Service


    Paul Davison is committed to improving public health and addressing obesity.  He has over 10 years of experience as an NHS registered dietitian, specialising in obesity and bariatric surgery.  Paul brings expertise in motivational interviewing, behaviour change, and academic research, with a passion for addressing the disparities underlying levels of childhood obesity.

    In his current role in Public Health with Bradford District Council, Paul manages a service for children living with overweight and obesity and is leading on creating an ‘Eating Well Culture” as part of the Bradford Food Strategy.  As a FixOurFood Commissioner, he is enthusiastic about driving positive change and contributing to a healthier, more sustainable future for all.

  • Jonathan Williams, FareShare Yorkshire


    Jonathan is Head of Development at Yorkshire’s largest food redistribution organisation, FareShare Yorkshire.  His work is focused on removing time-critical logistical barriers to food redistribution and maximising the impact of food among hundreds of Yorkshire’s frontline charities.  Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2017, he convened stakeholders from across the food industry to design a WRAP-funded trial to expand surplus interception.  Today that innovation enables over 1 million additional meals to be provided by frontline organisations across Yorkshire each year.  In 2019 he fundraised the creation of the FullCrumb Kitchen where charities and individuals receive cookery skill training to tackle food insecurity on different levels.  During the haulage crisis of 2021 he was seconded to FareShare UK to support a roll out of his transport innovation work across ten other counties.  Since 2023 he has served on the Steering Group of Good Food Barnsley and FareShare’s Regional Food Sourcing Governance Group.

  • Fiona Black, The Halifax Academy


    Embarking on a transformative journey within the education sector, Fiona has passionately driven change by prioritising community access to food through a multi-faceted approach. With a hands-on approach, she has demonstrated a commitment to creating sustainable and holistic solutions that go beyond the traditional confines of education.

    At the heart of this endeavour is the establishment and leadership of a Community Kitchen, a visionary initiative that engages volunteers in crafting nutritious plant-based and vegetarian meals. This not only addresses the immediate need for healthy food but also fosters a sense of community involvement and cooperation. Additionally, Fiona has spearheaded the development of a school garden, providing an interactive platform for students to connect with the origins of their food and instilling a sense of responsibility towards the environment.

    Recognizing the importance of collaboration, she has forged partnerships with Public Health to implement a Fruit and Veg voucher scheme. This innovative initiative aims to make fresh produce more accessible while promoting healthy eating habits within the community. Simultaneously,

    Fiona continues to play a pivotal role in reshaping the Food Tech agenda, redirecting the focus towards surplus, seasonal, and budget-conscious methodologies.

    One of Fiona’s key accomplishments lies in the creation of diverse funding streams that support multiple projects concurrently, ensuring that the impact extends far beyond the limitations of a school budget. By blending financial acumen with a passion for community welfare, she has demonstrated an ability to sustain and replicate successful models that prioritise the health and well-being of both children and parents.

    Central to Fiona’s philosophy is the belief that fostering a sense of unity through growing, cooking, and eating together can have a profound impact on a community’s overall health and happiness. The tangible differences witnessed through her initiatives have not only solidified a commitment to the cause but have also prompted a profound shift in perspective. From these tiny revolutions, Fiona envisions and actively pursues larger-scale transformations, driven by a dedication to creating a future where access to healthy and sustainable food is a right for all. The journey continues, with ever increasing pace at the forefront of pioneering change in the education sector and beyond.

  • Joshua Afzal, Terrafarmer, York


    Joshua is an agriculture scientist, public speaker, and dedicated philanthropist with a background in research and community development. He has led research projects and collaboration with various universities and research institutions in the UK and abroad. He has played his role in advancing rural community development projects through his involvement with charitable organizations. His passion lies in exploring innovative technologies that contribute to both food security and community engagement.

    Joshua’s upbringing in a farming family provided him with invaluable first hand experience in agriculture, offering insights into the challenges faced by food producers. His academic journey began at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad, where he earned his B.Sc. (Hons) in Agriculture, followed by M.Sc. (Hons) in Plant Pathology.

    As Joshua’s interest and expertise in agricultural research flourished, he pursued a Ph.D. in Crop Sciences at the University of Hohenheim, Germany. A significant portion of his research focused on sustainable food production, showcasing his commitment to addressing crucial issues in the agricultural sector.

    During his professional tenure in the UK, Joshua has contributed to diverse fields, including sports turf management, regenerative agriculture, vertical farming, and higher education. His multifaceted career reflects a dedication to advancing agricultural practices and fostering sustainable solutions in the national and global landscape.

  • Hannah Fraser, Fraser Farms


    Hannah is a medical doctor, interested in how our lifestyle, particularly our diet, impacts our risk and burden of disease. She is also a first-generation farmer with her husband in Yorkshire. They converted their land to organic production and now produce organic milling cereals. Combining her two interests, over the last 18 months she has been researching the link between different farming practices and the nutrient density of food, and how this can impact public health. Hannah is passionate about producing and increasing access to local, nutritious food.

  • Kamran Mahroof, University of Bradford


    Dr Kamran Mahroof is an Associate Professor in Supply Chain Analytics and leads the MSc Applied Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics programme at the School of Management, University of Bradford. Prior to academia, Kamran held several industry roles within logistics and supply chain, which helped shape his research interests. He actively researches in the areas of technology adoption and sustainable supply chains and regularly appears on national TV.

    As well as publishing in leading peer-reviewed journals, such as Journal of Business Research, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management and International Journal of Production Economics, his research also features on reputable media outlets such as The World Economic Forum, BBC and The Conversation. Recent projects led by Kamran include exploring the feasibility of establishing a local farm-to-fork supply chain for the Bradford district, as well as evaluating and mapping Bradford’s food economy.  Through his research and knowledge transfer activities, which range from Halal meat procurement, regenerative farming, Agritech adoption opportunities and farm-to-fork traceability, Kamran aims to offer further diversity and research-led perspectives which can help benefit the work of the FixOurFood commission.

  • Steve Crow, Clarion Solicitors


    Steve has over 35 years’ experience working for seven different professional services partnerships; 11 of which have been in a Big 4 environment. His degree was in engineering, and was a qualified design engineer/project manager working on major international projects. His career to date splits into thirds – engineering, Big 4 and finally 12 years in law as Clarions Strategy/Business Development Director. Over many years Steve has developed a detailed understanding of the economic landscape in terms of structure and change dynamics. He leverages this to provide insights and opportunities for the regional ecosystem.

    He has expertise in all aspects of strategy, business development, marketing and communications; leveraging this expertise to support client growth strategies. He is currently working with several major regional businesses to help pivot business models to navigate rapidly changing economic challenges/opportunities.

    Steve is also on the board of Space Hub Yorkshire, Yorkshire Rewilding Network and The University of Leeds International School where he leverages his senior level contacts in reinforcing links between Northern academia and the private sector particular on skills and innovation alignment. He also has supported Deliciously Yorkshire over many years, and has been a regular attendee of the Taste Awards.

    He is also on the management teams of Clarions Food & Drink, Retail, Health and Agriculture sector team, and is passionate about aligning these sectors for enhanced regional performance.

    Steve is a keen runner, mountain biker and gardener – he grows his own fruit & veg and is passionate about soil!

  • Nigel Murray, Booths


    Nigel joined Booths in November 2015 having spent his career to date in the food retail sector with Safeway, Tetley, Asda and Greggs.

    Born and bred in Blackburn, Lancashire he attended Manchester Polytechnic (Met) where he gained a B.A.(Hons) in Accounting & Finance followed by a Post Graduate Diploma and C.I.M. professional qualification in Marketing Management.

    Within Booths Nigel is a member of the Board and leads the Executive team. He is also a member of DEFRA’s Food & Drink Sector Council, a Trustee of The Creative Health Trust UK and is a Marketing Lancashire Ambassador.

    A northerner at heart, Nigel is a proud Lancastrian who has called North Yorkshire and Harrogate his home for over 20 years.

    Nigel is a firm believer in and proponent of ‘wholesome localism’ – a state where good quality, healthy and nutritious food & drink can be produced nearer to the point of sale and consumption, supporting local communities, economies and the health of the planet.

    Any spare time is spent watching his son play football, enjoying food, but most of all cycling…. reading, watching, fixing and actually cycling! In 2021 he completed the Tour de France route (21 stages) as one of a team of 18 amateur cyclists to raise over £1m for the charity, Cure Leukaemia.

  • Liz MacIver, Barefoot Kitchen


    Liz has over 15 years of experience within the food sector and is owner and Project Manager for Barefoot Kitchen CIC.  As a chef Liz has a wealth of knowledge about local food, procurement and a solid network of producers, growers, farmers and businesses with an ability to connect with more.  Barefoot Kitchen CIC is a trusted partner of the National Trust which Liz manages and grows and increases the client portfolio year on year.  Creating bespoke events for all sectors to showcase our local produce and people and always allowing for extra seats at the table and is a firm believer in the people, produce and places she works and how it needs to be elevated in order for the industry to survive.  Liz has 2 children, 2 dogs and a husband that are her world and very much enjoy being part of Liz’s food universe.

  • Allison Kane, Deliciously Yorkshire


    Allison has run Deliciously Yorkshire (DY), the Regional Food Group for Yorkshire and the Humber since 2016. DY champion, support and promote the businesses, products, and people behind the fantastic array of food and drink produced across the region.

    She has a strong commercial background having returned to the UK after 13 years running a successful Business Consulting and Partnership and Membership Marketing company in Dubai. Prior to this she held a range of operational and commercial roles at both American Express and Thomas Cook.

    As part of her role at Deliciously Yorkshire she has been part of the Grow Yorkshire Steering Committee since its inception and sits on the Executive Committee of the Yorkshire Food, Farming and Rural Network (YFFRN) supported by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society. YFFRN’s goal is to enable farming, rural businesses, and communities to become more sustainable economically, environmentally, and socially. DY is one of the founding members of Food From England, a collaborative network of Regional Food Groups and SME food and drink stakeholders and she has regular input to activities run by the DEFRA Agri-Food Chain Directorate and is also part of the North Yorkshire Food Strategy Group.

    She is passionate about the value of collaboration and how this can help businesses and drive transformational change.