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Awards Director Antony Begley, GCU Food Bioscience programme lead Dr Janice Taylor, GCU Biological and Biomedical Sciences Department Head Dr Sharron Dolan, Awards Director Helen Lyons.

The Scottish Retail Food & Drink Awards is delighted to confirm the appointment of Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) as its Official Food Judging Partner.

The partnership was struck with the help of our honorary GCU graduate and food industry expert Jane Milton who was blown away by the expertise of the University’s Food Bioscience staff, enthusiasm of the students and state-of-the-art facilities.

The Partnership means that all the food judging for Awards will take place in the School of Health and Life Sciences training kitchens and involve scores of staff and students.

The partnership represents a fantastic opportunity for GCU’s Biological and Biomedical Sciences team to showcase its centre for excellence in food science to a worldwide audience.

Department Head Dr Sharron Dolan, said: “To land this exciting partnership is a big deal for the University. We are absolutely delighted to be involved at such a high level and hope the partnership will continue for years to come.”

In the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards, GCU’s Food Bioscience rated in the top five food science courses in the UK. The programme has achieved 100% student satisfaction in the National Student Survey (NSS) and the majority of students get jobs in food science.

Food Bioscience programme lead Dr Janice Taylor said: “It is thanks to our honorary graduate and food expert Jane Milton that we now have this partnership because she has recognised the expertise we have here.

“Being involved in the Awards will help to promote food science at GCU and cement our already close relationships with the food industry.”

Both Awards’ directors Helen Lyons and Antony Begley said they were “thrilled” to have GCU as a key partner.

Antony said: “The judging is at the very heart of these Awards and we are delighted to be working with GCU as our key partner. The facilities are absolutely perfect for our expert judging panel and we will spend a week tasting hundreds of products to find the very best in Scotland.”

Helen added: “Jane told me how wonderful GCU’s staff, facilities and students were and how right she was. I really feel like I’m joining a fantastic team. We have the support from senior management, access to great facilities and these incredible students who are on top of their game and going to help us make this a success.”

Jane, who received a Doctor of Business Administration from GCU in November, has been working with Awards director Helen Lyons for 20 years and will play a key role in the judging process.

She explained: “When Helen Lyons first mentioned these awards as an idea, I immediately suggested GCU as a likely judging venue and was instrumental in her considering Glasgow over Edinburgh in the early stages.

“Knowing the University as I do, as an Alumni member, and with my interactions with staff helping entrepreneurial students and start-ups, and my relationship with the senior team, I felt GCU was the perfect place for us to start a new and different initiative.

“Also then when I spoke to staff and looked at the facilities, I realised there was a very big advantage in being able to would be testing retail food products in the same sorts of kitchens that consumers would at home.”