Meet the Nourish Staff

Pete Ritchie, Executive Director

Pete has a background in community development and social policy. As executive director, Pete is responsible with the board and staff team for focusing Nourish Scotland’s work where it can be most effective. This includes engaging with policy-makers and stakeholders as well as working for change from the bottom-up with grassroots groups. As well as working at Nourish, Pete runs Whitmuir Organics with his partner Heather Anderson.

Keesje Avis, Senior Policy Officer

Keesje (pronounced Kaysha) joined Nourish in 2019. She works on Scottish agricultural and climate change policy and is the clerk for the Farming for 1.5°C Inquiry. Internationally, her work currently focuses on reducing nitrogen use as part of the South Asian Nitrogen Hub and ensuring food is part of the CoP26 discourse both inside and outside the formal negotiations.
Keesje has worked in Johannesburg, Brussels, London and Aberdeen on agriculture, climate change and food waste and has degrees in agriculture and international relations. She and her husband also run Burmieston, a climate friendly business in rural Perthshire.

Anna Chworow, Business Manager

Anna‘s background is in third sector governance and financial management. She joined Nourish in 2017. She looks after membership, finances and administration, and ensures that Nourish’s internal process and governance reflect the organisational values. Her enduring love of spreadsheets is only rivaled by her enthusiasm for growing broad beans.

Diana Carolina Garduño Jiménez, Project Officer

Diana joined Nourish as a Food Justice Project Officer in 2020. She works co-delivering the Dignity in Practice Project and is involved in the Good Food Nation Campaign. This includes co-designing and co-facilitating workshops on food insecurity, right to food and food justice. Her approach to work emerges from the intersection between social sciences, art and design, and decolonial and queer frameworks and practice.  When she’s not working with Nourish you can find her dancing or having the slight suspicion that her sourdough starter might really be dead this time.

Simon Kenton-Lake, Policy & Project Officer

Simon works on sustainable nutrition, leading on the Peas Please project in Scotland. His background is in behaviour change responding to the climate emergency, including network support and effective partnership working. He is passionate about food, setting up various food surplus cooking projects in Oxford before moving to Edinburgh in 2019. When not eating or cooking he likes to run up hills and sit in pubs.

Miesbeth Knottenbelt, Project Officer

Miesbeth joined our team in 2017 and is now managing the Making a Living from Local Food Programme. Before joining Nourish, she worked in universities setting up, researching and running teaching and student support for more than 20 years. In addition to working with Nourish, she spends a lot of her time working for Spokes: The Lothian Cycle Campaign.

Stephanie Mander, Senior Project Officer

Stephanie joined the Nourish team in 2018 to lead on the Good Food Nation Bill and the Right to Food Campaign. She has over five years’ experience working in Scotland’s food and drink sector, holding previous positions in Scotland Food & Drink and Seafood Scotland. With degrees in Political Science and International Relations, she has also worked in Scottish Parliament as a Research Assistant to MSP Margo MacDonald and in Scottish Government as part of the Scottish Affairs Office of the British Embassy in Washington D.C.

Chelsea Marshall, Senior Project Officer

Chelsea’s background is in human rights and social justice, and she joined Nourish in 2016 to support our work on the right to food in Scotland. She led our work on the A Menu for Change project in Dundee and Fife, and helped establish the Dignity in Practice project, which supports socially just responses to food insecurity in community food provision. In her own time, Chelsea is a director of Bread for Good Community Benefit Society (‘Scotland The Bread’), which seeks to ‘grow better grain and bake better bread with the common purposes of nourishment, sustainability and food sovereignty’. Currently on part-time secondment to the Independent Food Aid Network.

Irina Martin, Project Officer

Irina co-delivers Nourish’s Dignity in Practice project. Her background is in community development, promoting healthy eating and social engagement. She is passionate about good food, building communities, the environment and social inclusion. She is an advocate for Zero Waste Scotland and works alongside other community organisations towards a fairer food system. She recently joined Nourish to work on the Dignity Practice project. She is from Bolivia but studied in Aberdeen and London, lived and worked in New Zealand, London, Inverness, Edinburgh, and currently Glasgow. Her graduate and post-graduate studies focused on gender, politics and social movements.

Sofie Quist, Project Officer

Sofie joined Nourish in 2020 and works on projects on food system governance, climate change with international partners. Sofie’s background is in international law, with a special interest in the intersection of human rights and the environment. Prior to joining Nourish, she worked on facilitating participation of civil society in the process of incorporating international human rights in Scotland. The remainder of her time is usually spent outside foraging, hill running or teaching rock climbing to young people.

Tara Wright, internship

Tara Wight, a PhD student working on crop sciences at the University of Edinburgh, started her professional internship placement with us in June. As part of her project she is working with Nourish and Scotland The Bread to explore the potential for collaborative and participatory seed selection to improve crop development and community engagement in local grain systems. Learning from participatory plant breeding programmes around the world, and through discussion with farmers, millers, bakers and enjoyers of bread locally, she is exploring the opportunities for engaging a diverse range of stakeholders in collaborative seed selection to strengthen local grain systems in Scotland.