Claire Perier Headshot

Research Topic

Understanding the Scottish Food & Drink System

Research Summary

My research aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the food system in Scotland and its governance across the global-local scale. It seeks to uncover and analyse the activities and actors involved in policy and practice, their relationships, powers, and values. It will contribute towards a better understanding of food systems, but also identify avenues for policy makers to work towards just and sustainable food governance. Scotland provides a fascinating case for this endeavour, as the dynamism of the country’s food and drink industry comes in counterpoint with its poor health records and rising food poverty levels. The system thinking lens means this research is not bounded by disciplines or methodologies. Instead, I am using a suite of data collection methods based on secondary and primary sources, illustrating the benefits of methodological agility and creativity in a systematic approach.


Research Area


My initial education was focused on food science and innovation. In addition to my main degree, I am also a qualified pastry chef and a graduate of the advanced master Interface Cuisine-Industry. I spent over seven years working in the industry in new product development and technical customer support, in sectors as varied as chocolate, bakery and salmon. During my time as a practitioner, I have been involved with many aspects of small and large scale business operations, from production to quality control and marketing. My return to academia follows a lifelong wish to investigate further the social and cultural aspects of food. My focus on Scotland stems from a deep love for this country and its inhabitants which started when I arrived in Edinburgh from France in 2013. My Master's by Research gave me the opportunity to complete my project management and technical skills with elements of sociology and economy.

Education and Qualifications

Institute Degree/Qualification Dates
University of Edinburgh Business School Master's by Research Management (Merits) September 2017–August 2018
National Superior School for Patisserie, France Pastry Basic Professional Qualification December 2011–June 2012
Interface/Cuisine/Industry, AgroParisTech Advanced Master Product Engineering September 2009–August 2010
Universite de Technologie de Compiègne Master's in Engineering Food Innovation September 2006–August 2009

Professional and Voluntary Experience

  • Convenor of the Doctoral Society (since September 2020)
  • Co-convenor of STUFFED, the Students of Food in Edinburgh network (since September 2018)
  • Customer Support Executive, The Scottish Salmon Company (November 2014–September 2017)
  • New Product Development Manager, Mathiesons Bakery (September 2013–September 2014)