We are delighted to introduce our IFE ambassadors; our friends from the food and drink industry that help us to shape the event and make it as meaningful and inspiring as possible. 

  • Sarah Whiddett

    Sarah Whiddett

    Head of Insight & Customer Experience, Bidfood

    Sarah has over 13 years’ experience understanding consumer behaviour, market trends and customer experience, and has specialised within the food sector for the last 6 years. Her main role at Bidfood sees her heading up the Insights team who are the voice of the customer within the business, and are responsible for publishing the business’ annual food and drink trend predictions, which is the foundation of Bidfood’s innovation pipeline.

    Sarah is also interim Head of Channel and Customer Marketing as maternity cover, and Chair of the insight industry membership body AURA.

    bidfood.co.uk

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  • Christine Tacon

    Christine Tacon

    Groceries Code Adjudicator, GCA

    Christine Tacon has been the Groceries Code Adjudicator since 2013, regulating the UK’s largest grocery retailers in the way they treat their suppliers. She is working to achieve behaviour change and a more equitable relationship between retailers and suppliers through persuasion and the promotion of good practices. 

    Christine is also a non-executive director of the AF Group and Chair of MDS Limited, a training provider for graduates in the fresh food and produce industry. Her professional background is as a Chartered Engineer with 12 years’ experience in sales and marketing. For 11 years she ran the largest farming business in the UK. She was awarded a CBE for services to agriculture in 2004.  

    gov.uk/government/organisations/groceries-code-adjudicator

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  • Kate Houssaye

    Kate Houssaye

    Quality Manager, New York Bakery Company Ltd.

    Kate is a fluent French speaking professional in the food industry, with over 20 years in technical manager roles in the UK and Europe.

    Kate’s current role involves high levels of communications across all functions, from junior to senior levels, and problem solving and trouble shooting day-to-day challenges in a fast moving, high pressure environment. She has regular contact with major retailers and food services, ensuring that all customer codes of practice are complied with.

    newyorkbakeryco.com

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  • Milena Lazarevska

    Milena Lazarevska

    Head of Origination, Future Brands, Sainsbury's

    Milena leads Origination for the Sainsbury’s Future Brands team, looking for exciting new brands that Sainsbury’s shoppers will love.

    A scientist by training, Milena started her career as a strategy consultant at Bain and Company. Her passion for food and drink led her to Sainsbury’s in 2014, where she held senior roles in Strategy and Trading, including leading the buying function for canned goods, food enhancers (sauces, stock, gravy), hot beverages, and homebaking, with sales of over £1B.

    sainsburys.co.uk

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  • Tony Kitous

    Tony Kitous

    Tony Kitous ComptoirFounder & Creative Director,The Comptoir Group 

    At the age of 18 Tony arrived in London from Algeria with £70 in his pocket and a passion to have his own restaurant within four years. He worked hard, achieving his dream with Levant, in central London. He’s built up a 33-strong restaurant group which includes Comptoir, Kenza, Shawa and Yalla Yalla.Tony’s dream has always been to share his love of Middle Eastern culture and food and his biggest goal is to make it as popular as Italian food in the UK. He’s the author of three cookery books. The latest, Feasts from the Middle East (HQ), features many of his favourite recipes from his mum plus other classics he’s picked up along the way.

     https://www.comptoirlibanais.com/

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  • Sandra Sullivan MBE

    Sandra Sullivan MBE

    Director, The Food & Drink Exporters Association 

    Sandra has 30 years’ experience working with UK food and drink companies in export markets. She is Director of the Food & Drink Exporters Association (FDEA), a not-for-profit trade association that offers its members export opportunities, advice and events to build their export contacts and knowledge. She is also a co-founder of PS8 Ltd, the global exhibitions and events specialists in food and drink. PS8 organise the UK presence at many of the world's leading international food and drink trade shows and work with food and drink companies of all sizes to build their export presence.

    ukfdea.com

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  • Christopher Faulkner

    Christopher Faulkner

    Founder and Director, The Food Service Expert

    Christopher Faulkner set up The Food Service Expert in 2017 following 30 years' in the foodservice sector. During this time, Christopher ran the food operation for a pub group and a restaurant division within Allied Domecq before moving to the supply side where he has worked for Booker Fitch (now Bidfood), Universe Foodservice, Hays Logistics (now Kuehne & Nagel) and Brakes.

    He has extensive experience in Delivered Wholesale Supply and Central Distribution (Food Logistics). Christopher was also responsible for Brakes Creative Foods, creating/designing new ready meals and desserts for Brakes and numerous foodservice operators.

    thefoodservicexpert.co.uk

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