Face-to-Face: Meet Ian Gordon September 2016

Ever wonder if anyone else is facing the same professional challenges as you? Or just looking to connect with some new people in your field? In IFT's Face-to-Face series, we will be introducing you to a different IFT member every month with a fun, insightful Q&A session.


Ian GordonThis month meet...

Ian Gordon, retired

  1. How did you get your start in the food science world?
    I read chemistry at Oxford University and when finishing my Doctorate, looked around at opportunities in industry. Guinness (the Brewer) offered a most attractive fast track training to become a Master Brewer.

  2. What did you enjoy most about your career? Did you have a favorite job?
    The wide diversity of jobs and posts I have filled, from brewing beer to marketing it in new cosmopolitan markets, management consultancy with a major player, food ingredients director of a transnational dairy business, and the joining and founding a boutique food ingredients consultancy in Geneva Switzerland. A favorite job is impossible to identify, the diversity itself has been a constant pleasure.

  3. What is the biggest challenge that you faced in your career?
    Deciding to leave the "safe ship" of Guinness when I failed to get approval for a major capital investment to expand the continental European business.

  4. Now that you are retired, how do you keep up-to-date with the changes in the industry?
    I hold a number of voluntary positions. I have been deeply involved in IFT's International Division for many years, I am a member of Council of the Society of Dairy Technology, I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Treasurer of the marketing group, and have been member of Council and of several Boards. I am also a senior member of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. Attending meetings and perusing journals of these bodies keeps me in touch. I am also listed on the European Food Safety Authority Database for expert advice.

  5. How do you see the food industry evolving over the coming years?
    A complex question, depending on one's time and geographical frames. My perspective is largely from that of which ingredients will be used. The rich world will continue to follow fashionable trends, overestimating risk and yet accepting lower safety for the sake of using "natural and organic" ingredients. The major problem will continue to be that there will be too many people to be fed, and, as this pressure grows further, fresh water may well become a limiting factor in marginal lands.

  6. Fun Fact: What’s your favorite food?
    A well matured rump steak.

If you are an IFT member and wish to be profiled, please contact Kelly Hensel at khensel@ift.org or 312-604-0211.