Who We Are

The Steering Group

Monmouthshire Food Partnership’s Steering Group comes together every six weeks to guide the Partnership’s activity, manage finances, and discuss strategic opportunities. We welcome new members so please get in touch if you’d like to join us.

Martin Sutherland
Martin Sutherland
Martin is the Volunteer Chair of Monmouthshire Food Partnership. He has been involved in the food industry since studying food marketing as an under-graduate at Aberystwyth University and University of California, Davis. After graduating, he joined the faculty at Aberystwyth University and lectured in marketing. Martin has a MSc in Food Policy from City University.
Martin’s commercial career started at McVitie’s, where he was Marketing Manager for Penguin biscuits (Martin put the jokes onto the Penguin wrappers). Following marketing roles with Tesco and WHSmith, he was a director at a number of food companies, including Somerfield Supermarkets.
Martin is now the Commercial and Marketing Director at the ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre at Cardiff Metropolitan University. He is responsible for the Marketing Team and the Food and Drink Research Group.
Martin is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and is a Vice-Chair of the CIM Board in Wales. He lives in Monmouthshire.
Elaine Blanchard
Elaine Blanchard
Elaine has have a keen interest in food and the impact it makes upon our environment. As Sustainable Food Engagement Officer for Monmouthshire County Council she uses her skill base of chef, NNEB nursery nurse and nutritional advising to build a network that values producers, cooking and community. She sees Monmouthshire Food Partnership as a way to bring that network together create a diverse and strong food system for Monmouthshire.
Sarah Davies
Sarah Davies
Sarah is a Senior Public Health Practitioner at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board. In her own words: ‘Bringing together the economic, health, social and environmental perspectives on the local food system is vital if we are to create a positive vision for the future way we feed ourselves. Monmouthshire Food Partnership is a space for convening these important conversations and I am very pleased to represent the Health Board in those discussions. I am keen to see the Food Partnership operating at all levels, from practical projects on the ground, to influencing policy. I have worked on sustainable local food systems for 20 years and am passionate about the change we can make together.’
Andrea Gibbons
Andrea Gibbons
Andrea is the Sustainable Food Places Network Coordinator at the Soil Association. She has come a long way to be here: from a professional career as community organiser to policy lecturer to social network builder, and from Tucson to Los Angeles to Salford to Monmouthshire. Andrea says, ‘I’m so excited to have built a home in Wales and be part of food partnership here. Transforming our food system enables us to improve physical and mental health, build more inclusive communities, increase jobs and create new futures, and enjoy every bite of the ever more delicious food we grow and eat. It also helps each of us be part of a wider movement to tackle poverty, hunger, biodiversity loss and climate change. As an avid gardener who sometimes feels a little helpless in the face of such big problems yet hopes to leave this world a better place for the next generations, this feels quite wonderful.’
Marianne Elliott
Marianne Elliott
Marianne coordinates Monmouthshire Food Partnership. She is also Sustainable Food Projects Manager at Monmouthshire County Council. Marianne is motivated by her love of the working landscape as the source of great produce to feed happy, healthy people and wildlife. The Food Partnership is a way of bringing people together from across the food system to explore ways of doing things better for Monmouthshire, Gwent and the Marches.

Before moving into her current role at the Council, Marianne had a varied career in academia and publishing.

Fiona Wilcock
Fiona Wilcock
Fiona has worked in the food industry for many years and now runs an independent food business called White Oak, making chutney, jam and other condiments. She is also a Monmouth Town Councillor.
Fiona is interested in the Monmouthshire Food Partnership, as she is keen to promote local business and network across the county improving the opportunities for small businesses. Her passion is food, especially good quality, wholesome foods that have little negative or no impact on the environment.
Fiona says, ‘I see Monmouthshire Food Partnership as a fantastic opportunity to bring together expertise from the industry and improve the education of the community, help charities to be more efficient with food projects and deliver the best results for the people of Monmouthshire.’
Siân Kidd
Siân Kidd
Siân is the Food Security Engagement officer for Monmouthshire County Council. She is the founder and Director of Secret Soup Society, a social enterprise working to reduce food waste and provide healthy nutritious food for the community. Sian also works as a Community Energy Case Worker and Community Freezer Chef for Heart of BS13, supporting food and energy security work in Hartcliffe and Withywood. Her background is in the arts with extensive professional experience as a facilitator, workshop leader and mentor and she is a qualified Forest School Leader and Playworker. Siân is passionate about promoting healthy, collaborative and sustainable food systems and sees the Food Partnership as a valuable tool in coordinating efforts to find long term solutions to food insecurity, while also addressing climate and health issues across Monmouthshire