The Board of Directors


Caroline Hutton

Caroline Hutton is Chair of the Board.

She was Director of  Martineau Gardens for 15 years, retiring from this position in 2018. One of many lasting legacies of her time at Martineau Gardens was obtaining the funding (from the Jo Malone Foundation) and building of the fabulous Courtyard Garden, formally open by the WMCA Mayor Andy Street on 26th June 2018.

She was also a founder member of ‘Growing Birmingham‘, a network of organisations within the city who are active in community food growing.


Other Board members are:

Andrew Clark

Andrew Clark, Director of Policy at the National Farmers Union (NFU).

Andrew leads the NFU’s HQ departments covering commodities, animal health and welfare, food chain, policy and regulation.


Kate Cooper

Kate Cooper is an Executive Director, as well as a Board director. Kate served as Chair of the Board 2014-2018, stepping down at the December Board Meeting.

She is also a Visiting Professional Fellow at the Crisis Management Centre, Aston Business School.

After an erstwhile career which included some 35 years as a consultant to blue chips,  she founded The New Optimists in 2009 as a way of putting regional scientists on the map. Over 130-strong, they took part in the Birmingham 2050 Scenarios Project (2011-14) exploring possible food futures for Birmingham which, in turn, led to Birmingham Public Health asking her to set up the Birmingham Food Council.


Junaid Haroon is a Partner at Mills & Reeve. He’s a corporate lawyer who advises on all aspects of corporate law with a primary focus on M&A, private equity investments and disposals.

Junaid leads the food and agribusiness team in the Midlands and is also one of the most experienced corporate lawyers advising clients in the independent health and care and the life sciences and biotech sectors.


Mark Laurie is one of the Directors at Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS), the UK’s only trade association for mobile caterers and street food traders. Its HQ is in Kings Norton.

He co-founded Digbeth Dining Club, Birmingham’s first and most popular street food event, and has consulted on countless other street food businesses and market start-ups, including most recently the Hong Kong Government.


Jon Miller UK Sales Director at Partners& and recently co-founded BFPS Black Leaders Network.

As an experienced insurance broker across all sectors, he’s worked with many food manufacturing and agricultural businesses across the UK from grain marketing to multinational producers.

John is our Board lead on our horizon scanning work.


Dr Miranda Pallan is Reader in Public Health at the Institute of Applied Health at the University of Birmingham.

She has undertaken research into the epidemiology, prevention and management of overweight and obesity in children, and is also expanding her research to include general health and wellbeing in childhood and adolescence.


Dr Lauren Traczykowski is Senior Lecturer in Law (Ethics) at the Aston Law School.

Her research interests are within applied ethics and emergency situations. At Aston Lauren teaches Business Ethics and Professional Conduct & Ethics and contribute to the integration of ethics into the LLB.


The work of the Board is supported by Rowena Evans, who also has responsibility for some of the activities we run, and by Ian Sergeant who curates our Narrativium projects.

Up to 12 people can serve on the Board. If you think you have relevant experience, please do let us know.

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The Birmingham Food Council is a Community Interest Company registered in England and Wales number 8931789