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About the Guild of Fine Food

We’ve been championing independent food and drink retailers, and the producers, wholesalers and distributors that supply them, since 1995.

Committed to supporting and encouraging business across the sector, we speak up for the needs of the independents, celebrate excellence and create a network of relationships between retailer, producer and food lover.

There is something for everyone across our range of activities – join us in raising the bar for great food and drink.

Guild of Fine Food brand logos: The Guild of Fine Food, Great Taste, The World Cheese Awards and Fine Food Digest.

About our brands

Guild of Fine Food is the organisation that sits behind Great Taste, World Cheese Awards, and Fine Food Digest.

Meet the team

Those of you who already spend time with us will know that the Guild of Fine Food's activities are many and varied, and the whole team gets involved in pretty much everything we do.

John Farrand

Managing director

John Farrand, MD, Guild of Fine Food

It was probably the force-feeding of obscure foods – especially cheese – during his childhood that compelled John to study Agriculture & Food Industry Management at Wye College, University of London. This oddly named but all-encompassing course covered farming and production as well as sales and marketing.

But it proved to be the perfect grounding for a career running the Guild, after a short stint reluctantly doing non-food things in London.

Sally Coley

Sales director

Sally Coley, Sales director, Guild of Fine Food

Sally began her career with Abbey National in 1994, quickly progressing to management level. She then worked for a niche management consultancy in North Dorset helping small and medium-sized businesses in Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset secure grants and management training.

She joined the Guild in 2006 and now heads our sales campaigns across the magazines, exhibitions and events. She is also show director of the Fine Food Show North.

Christabel Cairns

Operations & marketing director

Guild of Fine Food operations and marketing director Christabel Cairns

Christabel joined in 2016 from international wine media brand Decanter, to oversee the delivery of the World Cheese Awards in San Sebastián, and Christabel has been making things run efficiently ever since.

As operations & marketing director, she is responsible for developing digital systems and overall business and communications strategy – not to mention masterminding the Guild’s latest global cheese adventure.

Find me on LinkedIn

Tortie Farrand

Special projects director

Guild of Fine Food special projects director Tortie Farrand

After reading Business with Languages at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, Tortie began her career in London organising fundraising events for Macmillan Cancer Relief. This led to managing accounts at the advertising and marketing agency Ideas Unlimited. Her accounts included The National Trust, Royal Opera House, MS Society and Macmillan Cancer Relief. Tortie left Ideas as an Account Director in 2002 to move to Dorset.

A director of the business, Tortie works across all Guild activities, including Great Taste, World Cheese Awards, Guild membership and Fine Food Show North.

Michael Lane


Fine Food Digest editor Michael Lane

Michael relocated to the West Country and joined the Guild in 2011 after working as a business journalist, covering commercial property, travel and construction for various magazines in London.

Although the food industry is a mellower environment, he still finds time to unleash his ire on misplaced punctuation and shoddy press releases during the day-to-day running of Fine Food Digest.

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy editor

Fine Food Digest deputy editor Tani Dawn-Hiscox

Always hungry for latest food & drink news, Tani is a key part of the team producing Fine Food Digest and our host of other publications throughout the year. Organised and articulate, she is a major contributor across all our print titles, as well as online. A fluent French-speaker with great chef connections, built up from her years at The Staff Canteen. Tani has recently been studying for her WSET qualifications and is often the voice behind Fine Food Digest drinks focus pages.

Becky Haskett

Senior sales account manager

Guild of Fine Food sales executive Becky Haskett

A keen snowboarder and motorcyclist, Becky also holds the trophy for longest-serving employee at the Guild – she has been a stalwart of the sales team since 2005.

Jenny Homeshaw

Senior sales account manager

Jenny Homeshaw

Jenny recently joined us with a strong sales and publications background. She will help you with getting your business in front of retail buyers and consumers through our publications and events.

Jenna Morice

Marketing & PR officer

Guild of Fine Food marketing and PR officer Jenna Morice

After a previous life as cheesemonger, Jenna’s experience in the speciality food and drink sector combined with her substantial marketing skills make her an excellent addition to the awards & events team. Deftly handling our marketing for both awards schemes, as well as several other projects, and helping to steer our social media output, you’ll often see Jenna at our events snapping a picture or directing our photographers.

Lindsay Farrar

Data strategy & insights manager

Guild of Fine Food data strategy and insight manager Lindsay Farrar

Lindsay joined the team in May 2022, with a remit to help us better understand our audiences, ensuring we can deliver the most useful range of activities for all the people and businesses that we interact with.

Coming with data & insight experience built up over a career at some of the UK’s biggest newspapers, plus a more recent immersion into independent food retail and produce growing, makes Lindsay ideally placed as one of the people quietly taking the Guild forward into the next stage of our development.

Claire Powell

Operations manager

Guild of Fine Food operations manager Claire Powell

Specialist subject: spreadsheets. Coming from an administrative and accounting background, Claire is a key part of the organisation behind Great Taste and World Cheese.

Specifically looking after some of our larger retailers, as well as working on product scheduling with the wider operations team, she is calmly efficient in managing a number of projects.

Zara Williams

Operations & events coordinator

Guild of Fine Food operations and events coordinator Zara Williams

Zara transfers her substantial skills built up in the healthcare publishing sector to our events and awards schemes.  Part of the operations team, she skillfully project manages the event operations at some of our flagship events, in particular the Great Taste Golden Forks and World Cheese Awards.

Sepi Rowshanaei

Operations coordinator

Guild of Fine Food operations coordinator Sepi Rowshanaei

Sepi will be one of the team welcoming you if you’re joining us for Great Taste judging at No. 42 in London – as well as playing a key role in orchestrating product deliveries and judging schedules behind the scenes.

Previously a dentist, with a keen interest in food – including involvement in a family restaurant project in Northumberland – Sepi joins us with a wealth of different experiences, as well as a recent stint honing her organisational skills at Action for Children.

Chris Farrand

Operations coordinator

Guild of Fine Food operations coordinator Chris Farrand

A key person on our operations team in Gillingham, Chris will be one your first points of call if you contact us by phone or email.  Also responsible for helping with the mammoth task of sorting products into judging sessions behind the scenes, Chris puts his organisational and admin experience to good use making sure products are stored and delivered to judges in top condition for tasting.  Chris also plays a key role in finding new producers who are interested in entering Great Taste and World Cheese Awards.

Chloë Warren-Wood

Customer service assistant

Guild of Fine Food customer services assistant Chloe Warren-Wood

Your first point of contact when you ring the Guild or email for advice or help with award entries. Chloë also plays a key role in the administration behind both of our awards schemes, as well as coordinating the travel and hotel arrangements for Great Taste judges coming to Dorset.  A budding photographer, Chloë also assists with capturing content for our social media channels.

Nick Rose

Engagement & sales support assistant

Guild of Fine Food engagement & sales support assistant Nick Rose

With a hands-on experience of working in a deli for over 10 years, Nick knows the day-to-day of many of our retailers first-hand.  He will endeavour to ensure retailers are taking full advantage of their Guild membership and the services we offer to provide support for their business, as well as building on our community of retail members.

Julie Coates

Accounts assistant

Guild of Fine Food accounts assistant Julie Coates

Also vying for that long service award, Julie has seen it all at the Guild. She started life here as an accounts exec, moved to operations and then back into the numbers game. Julie is our tenacious, but extremely polite, chaser of money (we all need them).

Mark Windsor

Art director

Guild of Fine Food art director Mark Windsor

Whether it’s designing our publications, creating promotional artwork or fixing the website, Mark is the man behind all things graphic at the Guild.

He joined the Guild in 2008 after a 20+ year design career taking in music magazines, record labels, branding and packaging design and art editor at BBC Worldwide.

He gets his creative inspiration while cycling through the rural lanes of Dorset & Wiltshire

Emma Baines

Social media

Emma Baines, Social Media, Guild of Fine Food

Never one to miss a story or photo opportunity, Emma manages our social media channels with aplomb. Following all our Guild events – sometimes in person and sometimes behind the scenes, Emma’s thumbs are working overtime to ensure not a moment or comment is missed.

Sharp PR

PR & press office

Sharp PR team

Sharp Relations run the press office for the Guild of Fine Food, supporting PR and communications for all our activities, including Great Taste and World Cheese Awards.

They are your first point of call for any image or comment requests from the Guild of Fine Food team. Working closely with our marketing and social media team, the friendly team at Sharp help us get the message about well-made food & drink, and the people who produce it, out to those who sell it, make it and enjoy it.

Contact the press office

Ashley Warden

Finance director

Guild of Fine Food financial director Ashley Warden

The man with a calculator who keeps a watchful eye on our management accounts. Ashley has a wealth of experience that he brings to the Guild of Fine Food and ensures we all stay on track.

Stephen Guppy

Financial controller

Guild of Fine Food financial controller Stephen Guppy

A good man to know, Stephen not only ensures we are all paid on time, but also keeps his hand on the facilities tiller at the Guild.

Bob Farrand


Bob Farrand, Chairman, Guild of Fine Food

Our founder and chairman, without whom the Guild of Fine Food would not exist, has dedicated 40 years to the food & drink industry (longer if you include his first job at 13 in Shaftesbury’s finest grocery store!). Bob’s hard work, good ideas and contribution is much more than to just our organisation, it is to the entire food & drink trade in the UK and beyond.

Opportunities with the Guild of Fine Food

We’re a small and growing business with a brilliant team who work across a broad range of activities. We welcome interest from experienced, hard-working and friendly people who might be keen to join our team. At the moment, we have no open positions, but if you have an interest in working with us, please email your CV to [email protected], giving a few details about yourself and what you’re looking for, and we will get back to you if anything relevant becomes available.

Every year, we recruit for temporary team members to help us run Great Taste in both Dorset and London. Recruitment usually takes place in December/January, with seasonal work available between March and June.

At the Guild of Fine Food, we are committed to creating an open and inclusive working environment. We want to offer equal opportunities for all and encourage applications from all – regardless of ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality, age or disability.

Working with us

Thank you to the whole team for hosting World Cheese Awards. It was a truly fabulous event. The Guild of Fine Food is undoubtedly a force for good in this industry.

To get to meet with all of your team, put faces to names and then to win a Golden Fork, it was truly a night to remember – one which we will not forget for a very long time, if ever. Thank you for everything, for all your help and guidance in helping us along the way.

I just wanted to drop you a quick line to let you know how impressed I am with your customer service as an entrant to the Great Taste awards! … Someone always answers the phone and is very helpful – especially as I know you must be swamped with questions and products!