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Published:  23 July, 2008

Allan Cheesman, Sainsbury's retiring director of wine (see Harpers, 4 October), has been named as one of the appointees to the Wine and Spirit Education Trust's (WSET) new awards supervisory board. As well as 52-year-old Cheesman, who is to become a consultant,the board comprises: Christopher Carson, chief executive, BRL Hardy; Bill Gunn MW, managing director, Pol Roger; Fred Mallion MBE, formerly principal of the Smithfield College of Food Technology and one of the founders of the WSET; and David Grailley, chief executive, Meat Training Council. The board is independent of the Trust and its trustees. It will supervise the awarding body activities of WSET awards and advise trustees of their findings, to ensure the integrity of the qualifications offered. Ian Harris, chief executive of the WSET, said, I am delighted to have such an impressive line-up of key industry figures on our advisory board. It demonstrates the high regard in which the awards are held that we have managed to secure the time of such high-calibre members.' He added: The fact that these people are also still active within the food and drink industry ensures that their opinions and knowledge will be absolutely current and up-to-date, ensuring that the course and examination contents really meet the needs of the industry.' Among the responsibilities of the WSET Awards Supervisory Board will be: * Ensuring that the course and examination specifications are in line with what the industry wants. * Ensuring that the balance of subjects is right. * Identifying any gaps in the WSET offering. * Ultimately ensuring that the WSET is producing graduates whom the industry will want to employ.