Skip to main content

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

As comfortable answering the phone as presenting to a government panel, JF runs our finely tuned team. In control both financially and operationally, he also contributes monthly to Fine Food Digest, is front of stage at our award ceremonies and represents our sector and membership on various industry groups, including the Food & Drink Sector Council, DEFRA’s SME group and the Independent Retailers Confederation, as well as beating the drum for the independent retail, worthy food & drink producers, and the preservation of the high street in panel discussions and press interviews.

Find me on LinkedIn

Christabel Cairns

Operations & marketing director

Guild of Fine Food operations and marketing director Christabel Cairns

Responsible for the Guild’s business and communications strategy, and developing our operational and digital systems, Christabel is instrumental in the efficiency and future planning of the business.

Taking the lead with our forward planning and communications, she also plays a key role in brand positioning and proposition development.

Before working with the Guild, Christabel ran wine awards and events in the UK and Asia, for international wine magazine Decanter, so knows a thing or two about helping producers around the world get the word out about their products.

Find me on LinkedIn

Sally Coley

Sales director

Sally Coley, Sales director, Guild of Fine Food

Heading up the sales team, Sally is responsible for advertising and sponsorship across all the Guild’s monthly and annual publications, Great Taste Markets, awards schemes and events. Whether you are a producer or a retailer based in the UK or overseas – or your clients are – she and her team will help you find the best solution for your target audience and budget.

Find me on LinkedIn

Tortie Farrand

Special projects director

Guild of Fine Food special projects director Tortie Farrand

Tortie’s role at the Guild is far-reaching, but she’s probably best known for nurturing our food and drink contacts and ensuring we have the best possible blend of judges for Great Taste and World Cheese. Responsible for improving product knowledge, she leads on workshops and events to develop the Guild of Fine Food community.

Find me on LinkedIn

Michael Lane


Fine Food Digest editor Michael Lane

Michael honed his craft a business journalist covering commercial property, travel and construction for various magazines before joining the Guild of Fine Food and Fine Fine Digest.

Ensuring we bring the latest developments and interesting perspectives from the food & drink industry to our readers, Michael welcomes comment from across the industry.

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

Becky looks after our advertisers and event exhibitors. Having been part of the sales team since 2005, she is uniquely well connected to make sure her clients get their products and services in front the right people in our audience.

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

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.

Lindsay helps 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.



Claire Powell

Operations manager

Guild of Fine Food operations manager Claire Powell

Claire masterminds the coordination and safe delivery of all entries into our award schemes. She also builds & manages the relationships with our many international partners for Great Taste and World Cheese Awards, including the worldwide consolidation points.

A great problem-solver, she is calmly efficient in managing a number of projects, including looking after some of our larger retailers and improving our entry and results processes year to year.

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 is likely to be the first person to welcome you if you’re joining us for Great Taste judging at No. 42 in London and will be sure to make you instantly feel at ease and part of the team.

She plays a key role in recruiting our judging panels for Great Taste and World Cheese Awards, as well as running No. 42 as a venue for other events.



Chris Farrand

Operations coordinator

Guild of Fine Food operations coordinator Chris Farrand

Part of 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, ensuring that stored and delivered to judges in top condition for tasting.  Chris also loves 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, and looks after our Guild of Fine Food producer members. 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, occasionally moonlighting as a hawk-eyed proofreader for our publications.

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 endeavours 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.  If you’re attending one of our Retail Cheese training courses, more than likely to meet Nick there and he’ll be more than happy to tell you how the Guild might be able to help your retail business.

Julie Coates

Accounts assistant

Guild of Fine Food accounts assistant Julie Coates

A most tenacious and polite accounts assistant, Julie is our chaser of money (we all need them, please be kind to her). She is also one of our longest serving team members.

Janet Baxter

Operations support

Janet Baxter

Janet is an integral part of our team in Dorset.  During Great Taste, you might meet her whilst dropping off your entries or coming in to judge.  For the rest of the year, she is the person making sure you receive your awards labels on time and helping us prepare to get on the road for all of our shows and events, including World Cheese Awards.

Mark Windsor

Art director

Guild of Fine Food art director Mark Windsor

Responsible for design on our publications and promotional artwork, Mark started his graphics journey in music magazines, record labels, branding and packaging design and at BBC Worldwide.

If you’re sending in an advert for one of our magazines, Mark works closely with the sales team to execute the magazine layouts and place your artwork.

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.

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.

Press office

For media requests

Guild of Fine Food press office

The Guild of Fine Food press office supports PR and communications for all our activities, including Great Taste and World Cheese Awards.

This is your first point of call for any image or comment requests from the Guild of Fine Food team. Managed by our communications and marketing team, we help journalists get the message out 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

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. Any positions we currently have open are shown below. If you have an interest in working with us and can’t see anything relevant for you, 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.

We do not currently have any open positions.

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!