Technical & Advisory Committee

Bronwen Percival (Neal’s Yard Dairy) Chair of Technical Committee

Bronwen is the cheese buyer for Neal’s Yard Dairy in London. In addition to working with cheesemakers and the company’s maturation team to select and optimise the quality of the cheese they sell, she works to mobilise collaboration between cheesemakers and the scientific community. She is the convenor of the biennial conference on the Science of Artisan Cheese and chair of the UK Specialist Cheesemakers’ Association Technical Committee.

Sue White (Jurassic Coast Food Safety)

Sue’s career began as a classically trained chef before moving into technical quality management within the food industry, which in turn lead her to a long career in food safety training and consultancy for small businesses. (Jurassic Coast Food Safety).

She has over fifteen years of experience in the food sector, working on technical quality projects along with being an international ISO22000 food safety management lead auditor. Sue’s main roles have been working with various small businesses from different areas of the food and drink industry to create, implement and review food safety management systems specific to their businesses.

Sue has been on contract to the government of St Helena (a small island in the South Atlantic Ocean) where she supported individual food and drink producers to implement a specific island wide food safety management system, which she created to raise the food safety standards on the island in anticipation of visitor numbers increasing as the airport was built and opened St Helena to the rest of the world.

Her interest in raw milk stems from growing up on a small dairy farm and also finding health benefits from drinking it most of her life.

Dr Anna Catharina Berge DVM, MSc, MPVM, PhD (Berge Vet Consulting)

Anna Catharina (Cat) Berge is a Swedish veterinarian and epidemiologist with expertise in food animal production from farm to fork. Dr. Berge’s experience ranges from working directly in animal husbandry, large animal practice, veterinary animal and public health legislation, public health and scientific research. Dr. Berge’s worked in Sweden ins large animal practice and thereafter, veterinary policy and legislation, and at the European Commission covering areas ranging from animal disease control in trade, BSE, residue and drug control to Salmonella control and product traceability.  Thereafter she spent 10 years in the United States performing research in dairy production on zoonotic bacteria such as Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Campylobacter and antimicrobial resistance, while completing a dual masters in preventive veterinary medicine and a PhD in comparative pathology. Today she lives in Belgium and run her own consultancy business working internationally on several continents. Dr Berge is an academic advisor at the University of Ghent in the Epidemiology Unit where she is involved in research on biosecurity and reducing antimicrobial use.

Cat’s interest in raw milk is due to her own allergies to pasteurized milk and milk products. After having experienced more than 20 years of milk allergies and the social handicap it imposes on many aspects of life, she wanted to make safe raw milk accessible for others with similar intolerances. She has found that for raw milk, just as most food products that we produce in Europe, there are hygienic production methods where ‘final decontamination’ through pasteurization is not the only way to assure food safety.  Dr Berge now actively work to assist raw milk producers to reduce risks associated with raw milk using a holistic approach integrating all components of dairy farming from feed to food. Her extensive knowledge of all types of dairy systems, combined with epidemiological, microbiological, veterinary and public health expertise gives her unique competence to guide farmers in their work to create safe and hygienic raw milk production systems.

Prof Dr Ton Baars

Ton Baars (born 1956, Amsterdam) is a scientist dealing with on-farm experience as well as basic science. Since 1980 he is working in the field of organic grassland, animal welfare and milk quality. Ton worked in applied research in NL, later in Germany, where he held the 1st professorship in biodynamic agriculture, and Switzerland. In January 2019 Ton is continuing his research work on raw milk and health at Utrecht University (Nl). In mice studies themes about milk heat treatment, raw fermented milk products in relation to allergies will be investigated. In Germany, he is an advisor of the German Grade A raw milk producers association. The so-called Vorzugsmilk is a legal state controlled raw milk existing since the 1930s. Ton joined the Board of Directors of the Raw Milk Institute (USA) over a period of 5 years (till December 2018). His German and US experience and knowledge about “safe, raw milk production” will be used for the training in the UK. Further, Ton was a raw milk cheese maker during several periods in his life. The impact of hygiene, cow’s health, feeding on cheese quality will be used to support the UK raw milk producers. Since 2016, Ton started the website where science based information on raw milk, health and hygiene is shared for a wide audience. Cat Berge joined this website this year.

Paul Thomas (Whey Maker)

After graduating with a degree in Biochemistry, Paul spent several years working as an affineur and farmhouse and artisan cheese maker before becoming a freelance technical adviser and cheesemaking instructor. He provides support on dairy technology, hygiene, product development, troubleshooting-faults and non-conformity management to businesses both small and large, in the U.K. and internationally.

Paul was a co-author of the European guide for good hygiene practices in the production of artisanal cheese and dairy products, published by the European Commission in 2017. He has also delivered training courses for food enforcement officers on behalf of the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland.