An agile category and insight expert, who works across a wide-range of product sectors.
Debbie founded Contigo Management over 11 years ago out of a desire to deliver relevant insights and strategies in the food industry, blending the needs and wants of consumers and those of retailers and food outlets.
With a proven track record of adding value, she and her team unlock business potential by working with you to bring consumer insight to the heart of your thinking. Contigo’s client base includes major UK grocery multiples, their suppliers as well as established and start-up FMCG brands.
As a seasoned foodie, Debbie is looking forward to applying her wealth of experience to the judging process, knowing that her passion to discover and consume great products is mirrored by the Scottish people.
Head of Business and Catering Services at The Vegetarian Society.
Vanessa has been at the Vegetarian Society for 20 years and manages its product accreditation team. She has extensive knowledge of food and drink production from a vegan and vegetarian perspective.
With over 15 years of food judging experience, Vanessa is very enthusiastic about joining the Scottish Retail Food and Drink Awards judging panel and is keen to help increase the numbers of vegan and vegetarian manufacturers represented at the awards.
Vegetarian and vegan food is a passion of Vanessa’s and she is delighted to see the recent increase in demand for food in the sector.
Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne FRSE
After training at Leiths School of Food and Wine and the Michelin-starred Bibendum Restaurant, Lucinda ran a successful catering company before returning to Leiths to teach.
She is the author of How to Cook for Food Allergies, co-author of Leiths Techniques Bible and founder of gluten-free bakery brand Genius Foods.
Lucinda is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2017, and sits on its Enterprise Fellowship Panel. She is also Royal Society Entrepreneur in Residence at Edinburgh University; a non-executive director of The Scale Up Institute and Scotland Food and Drink; and a Board Trustee of the Society of Chemical Industry.
In 2012 Lucinda won the EY Entrepreneur Of the Year UK Emerging category, in 2018 Lucinda was nominated as one of the Maserati Top 100 Innovators and was named in the top 100 Women to Watch, in the annual Cranfield University Female FTSE Board report 2018.
Founder and CEO at redwigwam, a platform for flexible staffing.
Lorna is an entrepreneur with a history of successfully building, managing and exiting businesses.
She started her working life at Kellogg’s as a Sales Executive and worked up to Field Sales Manager before moving to Mars as Client Manager, then National Account Controller.
Lorna started employment agency Tactical Solutions in 2000, and enjoyed 13 years of profitable growth. After selling the business in 2011, she set up redwigwam, a flexible work booking platform serving both workers and hirers. There are currently more than 108,000 workers registered. The site matches workers to jobs in their area that require the skills they have and workers can book whichever jobs they wish.
Ruth Dolby MIFST
Ruth is a founding director at Food Science Fusion, a product development, applications and cross-disciplinary training company for the food industry. She is an Associate of Food & Nutrition at University of Nottingham and is a non-executive director of Derby QUAD, advising on catering and café.
Her experience spans R&D from working for SMEs and diversifying farmers to large manufacturers, multinationals and the industry’s major retailers and wholesalers, including 20 years as a development and applications specialist consultant. She has experience in developing food from farm to fork and has knowledge of the rest of the journey; working closely with all the supply chain and specialising in forming and working with cross-disciplinary teams.
Her skills are practical and her problem solving solutions are strongly linked with commercial acumen and focussed on the customer requirements. Her interests include applying cutting edge science to compliment culinary skills. Her main driver is seeing practical solutions successfully applied.
Former Director within the Leisure, Events and Venues division of Compass UK for 14 years, Andy led many projects across the UK including at The EICC in Edinburgh and the SEC Glasgow. Particular key projects were the Food Service provision for the 2014 Commonwealth Games at the SEC, and being involved from the outset in the design and delivery of food, drink and hospitality at the Hydro Arena.
Andy now advises and guides independent restaurateurs and other food and drink businesses on how to maximise their markets in a tough and ever-changing environment.
Food and drink is at the top of his agenda in so many ways and he is excited to be involved in the Awards process this year.
Dr Laura Wyness
A Registered Nutritionist and one of the Scottish Representatives for the Association for Nutrition. Laura was recently awarded ‘Freelance Nutritionist of the Year’ by the Caroline Walker Trust.
Laura worked as a Senior Research Fellow at the Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation where she led on a variety of food innovation projects for Scottish food companies.
She now runs her own Nutrition Research and Communications business providing a credible source of nutrition information and reliable advice for individuals, workplaces and food companies. She has a keen interest in food innovation and is part of the writing team at the Food Spark publication as well as working as an Assessor for the NHS Health Scotland ‘Healthy Living Award’.
Laura is excited to be part of the Scottish Retail Food and Drink Awards judging panel applying her knowledge and experience in public health nutrition and food innovation in the judging process.