BOOM Awards Judges
BOOM Awards, The Judges
The BOOM Awards judging panel is made up of a wide range of industry experts. A mixture of chefs, food experts, Soil Association Certification staff and food journalists. They use their expert knowledge and experience to sample all the amazing products entered.
Executive Judging Committee
Judges are overseen by the Executive Judging Committee, who have the final say in judging panels, decisions and criteria, and are consulted on any issues that may arise.
Clare McDermott - Business Development Director
Joining Soil Association Certification in June 2014 as Business Development Director, Clare has channeled her skills and marketing experience towards a long-held passion for food, striving to build and grow the organic market and support opportunities for healthy and sustainable food.
Liz Bowles - Head of Farming
As Soil Association’s Head of Farming, Liz has a wealth of experience in food and agriculture both in the UK and internationally. Working in the sector for over 20 years, Liz has been a driving force behind our Innovative Farmers program and has worked in the past with English Food and Farming Partnerships and ADAS.
Aine Morris - Managing Director, Bristol Food Union
Aine Morris is Managing Director of the Bristol Food Union, a new social enterprise born out of the Covid-19 crisis when a group of the city’s independent restaurants and food businesses came together to help keep Bristol fed. Aine also heads up brand partnerships and food programming for Yeo Valley’s annual music and food festival, Valley Fest. Prior to the crisis, Aine was Chief Executive of the Abergavenny Food Festival, and was previously Director of Communications at the Sustainable Food Trust.
Finn Cottle - Trade Consultant
After spending more than 20 years in commercial buying roles for two of the UK’s largest supermarkets, Finn Cottle now focuses her knowledge on the world of organic, helping smaller brands with business strategy and working as a trade consultant for Soil Association Certification.
Steve Ashworth - Associate Director, Smith & Williamson LLP
Though a tax specialist by trade, Steve’s foodie reputation was cemented in 2013 when he won the title of Best Dish at the South West Chef of the Year competition. He's also a member of the Bristol Food Policy Council and judges for Taste of the West, Guild of Fine Food and the Western Daily Press.
Laura Henderson - Head of Buying - Fresh & Frozen, Ocado Retail
With a real passion for the retail industry, Laura Henderson is Head of Buying for Fresh and Frozen at Ocado Retail and is fascinated by the journey a product takes from 'farm to fork'. She spent 9 years at Sainsbury's starting out as a buyer for Meal Solutions, moving on to develop the Category Strategy for Meat, Fish and Poultry and then moving into the Buying Manager role for Fish and Poultry. Her previously gained commercial experience includes buying various Ambient Grocery categories at Tesco and heading up Non Food Grocery at Musgrave UK.
Find out who the judges shortlisted
Faced with a huge variety of top-notch organic products the judges had a hard task at hand to select the 2019 BOOM Award finalists.