IFST Western Branch

The Western Branch organises a number of technical visits and holds meetings/joint meetings that allow topical discussion throughout the year.

Meet the Western Branch Committee


David Baines has been operating his consultancy since 1997 specialising in food flavourings with specific expertise in flavours derived from the Maillard reaction. He has worked across five continents with flavour and food companies to generate greater flavour impact in processed food products.

He has been involved in UK Food Standards Agency, Defra and World Bank funded projects on food safety and led a team of consultants, funded by the Royal Society of Chemistry, on food sustainability which was presented under the title ‘The Vital Ingredient’ to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the UK Parliament in January 2009.

Prior to setting up his consultancy he spent 25 years working in the food industry, latterly as Technical Director of Lucas Ingredients, now part of Kerry,  and before that Spillers Foods and Unilever.

He is author of several papers and book chapters, named on five patents, co-edited the book ‘Natural Food Additives, Ingredients and Flavourings’ and is a co-editor of the internet flavour bulletin, ‘Flavour Horizons’. 

He is a past President of the British Society Flavourists (2008-2010), a member of the Technical Committee of the UK Flavour Association and Chairman of the Western Branch of the Institute of Food Science & Technology and in 2002 was awarded the Bill Littlejohn Medal for services to the industry by the British Society of Flavourists.  


Peter is a Fellow if the IFST and has been a member since his student days in the 70s studying Food Science at Strathclyde. He has played an active role in the IFST by speaking at IFST conferences and lately as Hon Secretary of the Western Branch. He had worked in Technical positions for over 30 years in the UK food industry including Canning, Bakery and Desserts. His final role involved the setting up (design, build, equipment purchase, process trials and quality systems) of a high risk factory which produced individual restaurant quality retail desserts in glass and ceramics. After this he moved to his own consultancy. This included 8 years as a Tesco PIU auditor in Europe and he is now specialising in auditing to the BRC and SALSA standards.



Martyn has 40 years’ experience in both dairy and chilled desserts businesses, having initially joined Unigate Ltd as management trainee following graduation from the NCFT, Reading University, gaining a degree in Food Technology. Having started in Dairy Technical, Lab and Quality Management, General management, most recent years have been in Senior Technical Management. Recent achievements have been to conceive and deliver the whole Technical structure, and technically project manage/commission the Greenfield build of Westbury Dairies, then within 4 years to achieve the first ISO22,000 Food Safety systems accreditation in the UK. Westbury Dairies is the largest milk powder & butter site in the UK.  The current role is with the family Company of AJ & RG Barber, as Business Technical Manager, responsible for technical integrity of Barbers two manufacturing sites, producing traditional and speciality cheeses, and whey protein powders for infant formula.  Interests include development of individuals, sharing and training with the technical skills and knowledge I have gained through my career.


Simon has over fifteen years’ experience in the food industry, including four years as a University lecturer, and eleven years in food manufacturing.

Simon currently works closely with a range of food manufacturing companies and Zero2Five Food industry centre, based in Cardiff Metropolitan University.  He holds a degree in Food Technology from the University of Glasgow and is a member of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (MIFST).  Simon holds a post-graduate certificate in the Interdisciplinary Perspective of Food Processing Services from the KVL University in Copenhagen, along with a post-graduate certificate in teaching higher education (PgCTHE).  He is a member of the IFST consultancy steering group and member of the IFST membership committee forum.  Simon is currently involved in a range of post-graduate research specialising in food safety within the home.  In his spare time he enjoys athletics, endurance events and good food and drink. 



Food technology is a dynamic profession, constantly changing through science, legislation,retail pressures and consumer expectations. Combining technical expertise with commercial opportunities will achieve business growth. Key to this is positive and cost effective NPD. Using best industry practices Claire currently works as a consultant successfully growing SME and global businesses through innovation and technical advancement.  She has 35 years industry experience and has been employed by major global food ingredient companies, designing many of the everyday foods consumed today.  Claire is a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, IAFP and gained Chartered Scientist status in 2009. Claire says that the Western Branch is a great place for gaining industry, academic and Government agency knowledge through our diverse membership. Open discussions emerge at the meetings on current food topics and we look to transform these into specific conferences which will be of interest to the food industry.  Members are also happy to mentor and share their working experiences with everyone.

Upcoming events


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Western Branch Conferences 

The Western Branch hosts an annual conference in their region.

A one day conference providing current and future food industry professionals with up to date information, relating to the management of food safety, through the use of good hygienic design in the production
Meet Committee Members of the UK & Ireland regional section of the European Hygienic Engineering Design Group and IFST and find out what they can do for you.
The aim of this conference is to bring together experts in hygienic design and sanitation to share their knowledge and open up the topic for discussion among food safety professionals. The questions to be
asked are:

  • What is hygienic design and why is it important?
  • Who are EHEDG and what can they do for me?
  • How can I design my food factory for hygiene - the building, the layout, the processing equipment, the cleaning systems etc.
  • Hygienic design and Global food safety standards
  • What Guidance and training is available
  • EHEDG certification scheme

Come to hear experts in the field address the above questions.

Previous Conferences



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Get involved

If you would like more information about how to get involved, please contact info@ifst.org - we meet up to 9 times a year, alternating between Cardiff and just outside Bristol and are looking for new members in the region within academia and industry - so please do come and take part!