The 2019 Judging Panel

We’re delighted to announce the judging panel for the 2019 Awards.  Bringing real commercial edge and years of industry experience, the panel members will also be joined by food critic and writer, Jay Rayner, to help decide who will win the 2019 Product of the Year Award.

This year’s panel includes:

Brewing and Distilling

  • Andy Gemmell, Owner, The Gallowagate
  • David Barrow, Beer Wines and Spirits Buyer, Costco
  • Gary Hyde, Senior Buyer, Head of Drinks Ocado
  • Kevin Buchan, Highlands & Islands Area Manager, Co-op
  • Paul Ross, Managing Director, Super Premium, Edrington
  • Jason Craig, Brand Director for Highland Park, Edrington
  • Sean Murphy, Food and Drink Writer, the Scotsman
  • Steve Annand, Sales Director, Inverarity Morton



  • Catrin Thorndike, Sustainable Procurement Manager and Category Manager for Fresh Food, Sodexo
  • Stephen Frost, Executive Chef, Sodexo
  • Duncan McEwan, Excecutive Chef for Concessions Franchise and Business Development, Casual Dining Group
  • Heather Turnbull, Regional Buyer, Asda
  • Jim Miller, Director of Procurement, Commissioning and Facilities, NHS Scotland
  • Kirsty Adams, Product Development Manager, M&S
  • Rose Price, Head of Buying, Ocado
  • Tom Lewis, Chef-Proprietor, Mhor Group
  • Russell Betney, The Rowett Institute


  • Natalie Bell, Seafood Scotland
  • Elsa Fairbanks,  a Founding Director of the Food and Drink Exporters Association (FDEA)
  • Alan Laidlaw, CEO, RHASS
  • Brian Richardson, UK Head of Agriculture, Clydesdale Bank
  • Scott Walker, CEO, NFU Scotland
  • David Thomson, Director, FDF Scotland
  • Moira Stalker, Skills Manager, FDF Scotland
  • Gerry McBride, Strategic Relationships Manager Food & Drink, Skills Development Scotland
  • Adam Hardie, Partner and Head of Food & Drink, Johnston Carmichael
  • Dennis Overton OBE, Managing Director, Aquascot
  • Simon Hannah, Managing Director, Filshill
  • Jim Mclaren MBE, Arable and Beef Farmer, Ex QMS Chair
  • Neil Stoddart OBE, Managing Director, Stoddart’s
  • Lucy Gannon, Partner, Morisons Llp
  • Marc Crothall, CEO, Scottish Tourism Alliance
  • Janie Neiumann, Industry Development Manager, Visit Scotland
  • John Forteith, Business Development Consultant, JF Consulting
  • John Davidson, Head of Food & Drink Industry Growth, Scottish Government
  • James Withers, CEO, Scotland Food & Drink


For our product awards, judging for the alcohol categories will take place on Wednesday 20th March and food categories will be judged on Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th March 2019. The final decision will be made by the judging panel with judging Chair having the casting vote if required.


The finalist companies will be announced on Tuesday 2 April.

Watch this space for our 2019 judges announcement and follow us on

@scotfooddrink   #EA2019




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