Meet the team

Our dedicated Food Team can work with you to achieve the most cost and time effective solution for dealing with your unsold food, enabling your business to use your surplus food for social good.

Get in touch with them on [email protected] or 020 7064 8911.

Mark Varney

Director of Network DevelopmentMeet The Team: Mark Varney

Mark leads the team responsible for FareShare’s partnerships with the food industry, and supporting FareShare’s network of 21 Regional Centres to provide food to our charity members.
He led the development of the innovative FareShare Food Efficiency Framework, which was launched in 2016, and represents FareShare at a number of cross-industry working groups on Food Waste Prevention.

Mark joined FareShare in 2012. Prior to that he was Head of Commercial Relations (Food and Beverage) at The Fairtrade Foundation, leading Fairtrade’s engagement with manufacturers, brand owners and retailers in the UK food and drink sector. Mark was previously Director of Sustainable Business at behaviour change agency Corporate Culture, and spent the first 8 years of his career in a variety of commercial roles at Procter and Gamble.

Mark has an MSc in Sustainable Development and Corporate Environmental Management and is a Chartered Waste Manager.

Gillian Kynoch

Head of FareShare in ScotlandMeet The Team: Gillian Kynoch

Gillian is responsible for overseeing the operations of our four Scottish Regional Centres, together with fundraising and policy development. Gillian works to build a partnership with the Scottish Food and Drink Industry in order to redistribute more food surplus from within Scotland, contributing to environmental as well as social goals.

Gillian has a background in health and strategic development and has worked with the Food and Drink Industry in Scotland for over 15 years. Prior to joining FareShare in 2014, Gillian was Development & Innovation Director at Albert Bartlett (2008 – 2014), and Ministerial Adviser for food and health policy in the Scottish Government (2000 – 2008). Prior to that Gillian worked in the NHS, firstly as a clinical dietitian and then as public health nutritionist. She has been a Trustee of the Edinburgh Cyrenians for the past 8 years.

Ashley Davies

Commercial ManagerMeet The Team: Ashley Davies

Ashley is responsible for managing existing relationships with food partners including Tesco, Nestle and Associated British Foods and for establishing partnerships with new suppliers and food sources, particularly in the bakery category.

Ashely joined FareShare in 2014, having spent almost five years in corporate fundraising at Comic Relief. Before switching to the third sector Ashley worked in the Food and Drink Industry, with positions at Tetley Tea, Johnson & Johnson (Benecol and Splenda) and Hovis, initially in purchasing then in commercial roles managing customers including Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose.

Colin Burcombe

Commercial ManagerMeet The Team: Colin Burcombe

Colin is responsible for managing relationships with FareShare’s fresh produce partners, including Mack, Thanet Earth, Produce World and AMT fruit. In addition, he leads on the key relationship with Sainsbury’s, a long-standing supporter who have been closely linked with FareShare since its formation in 1994.

Prior to joining FareShare in 2010, Colin worked for Brakes Foodservice within the sales and account management functions, targeting and selling products to a variety of customers. These included care home groups, regional schools federations, pub groups as well as national accounts and defined customer focussed projects.

Michael Shields

Commercial ManagerMeet The Team: Michael Shields

Michael is responsible for managing relationships with FareShare’s dairy partners, including Arla and Muller. In addition, Michael holds the key relationship with Asda, one of FareShare’s key retail partners.

Before becoming a Commercial Manger in 2017, Michael was General Manager of FareShare North East for 7 years. Over this period, Michael managed the strategic development of FareShare North East, with a view to maximising the mission of redistributing more surplus food to more local frontline charities. Managing a team of staff and volunteers, he had overall responsibility for Finance, Marketing, Operations and HR. Prior to his involvement with FareShare, Michael held a number of managerial positions within the dairy industry for over 12 years.

Rowen West-Henzell

Commercial Manager

Rowen is responsible for sourcing surplus food from the meat category and managing key relationships with FareShare’s meat partners, including Faccenda, Kerry Foods and 2 Sisters. In addition, Rowen account manages both Co-op and Aldi, two of FareShare’s core retail partners.

Prior to joining FareShare in 2014, Rowen spent nearly 10 years at Compassion World Farming, a farm animal welfare charity, where she headed up the food business programme, working in partnership with multinational food companies to improve standards of animal welfare. Before that, Rowen held communications, policy and civil service roles.

Samantha Lai

Commercial OfficerHeadshot of Samantha Lai, Commercial Officer at FareShare UK

Sam is responsible for managing relationships with FareShare’s foodservice industry partners including Bidfood and Bidvest Logistics, who distributes to many well-known restaurant chains such as PizzaExpress, Ask Italian, Zizzi, Pizza Hut and Nando’s. Sam is also responsible for sourcing food from the frozen category and mapping out new ways and opportunities to get frozen food into the FareShare network.

Prior to joining FareShare in 2017, Sam worked on reporting and range reviews in the Buying department at Lidl and was their Lean Master to streamline existing processes and promote best practice in the department.

Rachel Carr

Regional Food Officer for ScotlandMeet The Team: Rachel Carr

Rachel is responsible for sourcing surplus food from local Scottish food companies. Rachel works closely with FareShare’s Scottish Regional Centres to offer operational guidance and manage food requirements. Rachel joined FareShare in January 2016, originally as a Regional Assistant for the FareShare Go project, managing relationships with local Tesco stores and signing up local charities to the scheme, before starting her current role in August 2016.

Prior to working at FareShare, Rachel studied Public Health Nutrition whilst volunteering with community food project

Ruth Peacegood

Food Sourcing CoordinatorMeet The Team: Ruth Peacegood

Ruth is responsible for the team that organises all food deliveries from the 500 companies that work with FareShare, into the FareShare network. She is responsible for ensuring that the food gets to FareShare, at the right location, in time and in-date. Ruth is also responsible for transport and logistics, and works with logistics companies including Fowler Welch and Nagel Langdons to find quick and efficient ways to get surplus food to FareShare’s network of Regional Centres.

Prior to joining FareShare in 2014, Ruth studied Architecture, and likes to believe that’s where she developed a mind for planning!

Alex Bleasdale

Food Coordination Assistant

Alex is responsible for allocating the offers of surplus food from FareShare’s food partners to Regional Centres all over the UK, along with Dan and Alina.

Prior to joining, Alex completed an MSc in Middle East Politics. Before that she spent a couple of years interning as a researcher in two think tanks.

Alina Pullen

Food Coordination Assistant

Alina works with Alex and Dan to allocate the offers of surplus food from FareShare’s food partners to our 21 Regional Centres.

Before joining FareShare Alina briefly worked with Zespa Media in the TV production industry. Previously, she studied International Business, Marketing and Sociology in the USA where she also worked as a Resident Assistant and a note taker for students with disabilities.

Daniel Gee

Food Coordination AssistantDan Gee, member of FareShare Food Team

Dan works with Alina and Alex to co-ordinate the offers of surplus food from our food partners to FareShare’s network of Regional Centres.

Prior to joining FareShare, Dan volunteered for FoodCycle, managed restaurants and developed logistics and operations for a youth development expedition charity.