we have assembled a trusted team of external advisors who challenge our thinking, hold us to account, connect us to their networks and help us innovate even faster.

each advisor specialises in a different field, but together they have vast experience and knowledge in an array of topics including food fraud, logistics, technology, and international customs and trade. 

they also have a track record helping small businesses expand and grow successfully.

Paul Eveleigh | Financial Advisor and Tech Entrepreneur

entrepreneur and builder of great new businesses, with an even greater “why?”. fluent in Chinese, Paul built China’s only successful foreign-owned wind power producer from start to £250m business. with a previous career in Investment Management, Paul has come to specialise in management / corporate development, debt and equity fundraising, Chinese JV negotiations, and turnarounds.

Prof Chris Elliott OBE | Global Food Security Expert

Chris has published more than 300 papers in the field of detection and control of chemical contaminants in agri-food commodities and co-ordinated one of the world’s largest research projects in this area (www.BioCop.org). Chris also co-ordinated another major EU research project QSAFFE, which has dealt with contaminant issues along the animal feed supply chain.

Chris led the UK government’s independent review of food systems following the 2013 horse meat scandal.

listen to Prof Chris Elliott’s podcast →

Rory Best OBE | International Sports and Pedigree Breeder

Rory Best, the former Irish rugby star, is now enjoying working with his family on their farm near Poyntzpass, Co Armagh. he has embraced the farming life after bringing his professional rugby career to an end in 2019. he now specialises in breeding pedigree breeds, harnessing data and technology to optimise and improve every aspect of his approach to farming, in the same way data was successfully applied to the field of professional sport.

Roger Pollen | Head of External Affairs and FSB Lead 

Roger is the Head of External Affairs for the Federation of Small Businesses in Northern Ireland, whose mission is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions. the FSB works with policy makers and politicians at every level, across the UK and Europe to raise awareness of the issues affecting its members’ businesses and campaign for changes in the law on these issues.

Sean Duffy | M&A Specialist, ex EY Innovation Lead

Sean has operated at Senior Executive and board level with KPMG Corporate Finance, EY, NCB Corporate Finance and IBI Corporate Finance for the past 25 years, specialising in mergers and acquisitions.

inspired by the extraordinary energy, positivity and tenacity of entrepreneurs across Northern and Southern Ireland, he established his own venture, Vision to Value, to support and stand shoulder to shoulder with founders and their families as they create, enhance, defend and realise value.

Riaan de Nysschen | Director EY and Chief Technologist

Riaan is passionate about using technology to improve the way services are delivered and helping transform and grow businesses to deliver outstanding results.

he has a track record in the IT, Telecommunications and Financial Services sector, and has developed a number of core competencies including operations management, sales, solutions architecture, programme and project management, business transformation, change management, business case development, financial management, supply chain management, contract negotiation and team building and training.

Stephen Cox | Global T.I.C. Specialist

Stephen is a multifaceted professional with broad experience who has had many management roles in the international agricultural and food quality sector. he started his career as a horticulture manager working with hydroponics in the UK and Spain. he later undertook extensive research and development for the application of biological control methods for Integrated Pest Management in salad crops. in 1998 he pioneered the development and promotion of the first Good Agricultural Practice farm assurance standard in Spain. 

his company in Spain was acquired in 2001 by CMi UK which in turn was acquired in 2007 by NSF International. he was line manager for the NSF in-country office networks in Europe, Africa and LatAm supplying audit services for the agricultural supply chain. he later became the NSF Certification Quality Director for 3 years and then moved on to NSF Global Agriculture Director. 

in 2017 he was appointed as the NSF Director for Strategic Alliances leading the development of various projects in coffee, and in the UK, the Verify Project Platform, linking blockchain technology with food supply chain provenance for asset identification and traceability.  

he has lived for the last 40 years with his family in Spain and has recently retired.