Lucy MacLennan  -  Do audits really improve microbiological food safety in fresh produce?

Central Region Farmers Trust

From a young age I have always had a love of food, whether it was baking with my mother as a child and loving Home Economics lessons before progressing to cookery school, which led me to study Food and Nutrition at University.  On my work placement year I discovered the role of a food technologist and went on to the graduate scheme at Marks and Spencer.  Having spent a number of years working across numerous categories including developing party food for the millennium and travelling the world to source canned goods, I eventually found my way into fresh produce and have never looked back.

I moved to Scotland for several years where I headed up the technical team for Kettle Produce before returning back to London to take up a role leading the fresh produce category for Sainsbury’s which involved working with a global supply base of more than 300 businesses across vegetables, fruit, salads, prepared produce, flowers and pot plants.

In 2011 I decided upon a change of direction and left the corporate world, pausing my career to participate in the Clipper Round the World yacht race (where I sailed home from San Fransisco as part of a crew of 16 on a stripped out racing yacht).  On my return I completed an MBA at Cranfield University before establishing my own consultancy business, Food Technical Expert.   My consultancy work specialises in fresh produce and amongst other projectshas led to the development of the Marks & Spencer Select Farm Produce standard which has step changed food safety standards within the fresh produce industry.  I am also Non-Executive Director and Chairman of the Fresh Produce Sector Board for Red Tractor Assurance, responsible for the development of the Red Tractor Fresh Produce standard.

Outside of work, I have recently completed a full renovation of my house and have now moved onto re-landscaping the garden so I can usually be found elbow deep in mud!  I also enjoy exploring the great outdoors with my Labrador, Connie.

I am really excited to be awarded a 2020 Nuffield Scholarship and would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to my sponsors, Central Region Farmers Trust for making this possible.