Ecotrophelia dragons, from left to right: Sam Millar, Brigid McKevith, Martin Macfarlane, Emmanuelle Lerges, Liz Ashton,Rosemary Wilkinson, Guvinder Abdel-Hady, Chris Gilbert-Wood, James Williams, Rod Addy, Tim Holmes, Dr Victoria Fuller and Elif Buyukpamukcu.

The panel of dragons is made up of key figures from the UK food and drink industry and includes industrial, governmental, professional and media representatives. . 

Sam Millar

Director of Quality, Warburtons

Sam Millar is the Director of Quality for Warburtons Ltd, responsible for product and packaging quality, food safety and regulatory compliance. Sam has served as a Board Director for the Cereals & Grains Association(AACCI) and is a Fellow of the IFST as well as the Academy of the International Association for Cereal Science and Technology (ICC).

Brigid McKevith

Scientific & Regulatory AffairsSenior Manager UK & Ireland, Coca-Cola

Brigid has over eighteen years’ experience in the food industry including Tata Global Beverages and Nestle Breakfast Cereals. In 2019, she joined Coca-Cola as Senior Manager for Scientific & Regulatory Affairs. Her responsibilities include ensuring compliance of formulations, ingredients, products, packages, labels, claims, and communications for the UK and Ireland

Martin Macfarlane


R&D Director, Unilever

Martin has worked for Unilever for 18 years. He originally focussed on ensuring the safety of products and manufacturing for consumers, employees and the environment for various products across Personal Care and Foods. He then moved to Ice Cream Design, developing recipes and technologies to give new consumer benefits and experiences. Martin is now a R&D Director for the Pepsi Lipton Joint Venture,where a key responsibility is the European Innovation Programme for brands including Lipton Ice Tea.

Emmanuelle Lerges

Technical and QualityDirector, Tesco

Emmanuelle is currently the Technical and Quality Director for Tesco, standing over the quality, safety and legality of their own label products in the UK and ROI.

Emmanuelle has worked for Tesco for 19 years and worked across many areas of the business. Over that, Emmanuelle has gained a wealth of experience across the food safety, quality, agriculture, sustainability and ethical agendas. Emmanuelle is also an appointed director of FIIN, the Food Industry Intelligence Network, set up to help ensure the integrity of food supply chains and protect the interests of the consumer.

Liz Ashton

Marketing and Sales Director, Campden BRI

Liz is the Marketing and Sales Director at Campden BRI. Her career spans more than 30 years. Her focus has been FMCG, where she has worked for both manufacturers and retailers, and latterly Liz started a global company in digital media. She has a commercial pragmatic approach to doing business and understands the issues faced by a start-up or by a corporate, having worked for both. Her time at Campden BRI has been spent delivering a more commercial organisation, looking to deliver various marketing initiatives and ensuring Campden BRI serves its clients and members in the best way. Liz is also a food scientist.

Brigid McKevith

Scientific & Regulatory Affairs Senior Manager UK & Ireland

Brigid has over eighteen years' experience in the food industry including Tata Global Beverages and Nestle Breakfast Cereals. In 2019, she joined Coca-Cola as Senior manager for Scientific & Regulatory Affairs. Her responsibilities include ensuring compliance of formulations, ingredients, products, packages, labels, claims, and communications. 

Rosemary Wilkinson

Marks and Spencer

Rose is Head of Technology of the Ambient Snacking and Celebration category, responsible for the food safety, quality, integrity and sustainability of her products. In addition to category responsibility, Rose is strategic lead for the recruitment, training and graduateprogramme for the M&S technology function.

Guvinder Abdel-Hady

Category Technical Manager, Sainsburys

Guvinder has over 15 years of experience working across multiple retailers in the Technical & Development functions.

As a Category Technical Manager atSainsburys she is responsible for the Food Safety and Integrity, Supplier relationships, Technical Innovation and consistent quality products within the Sainsburys brand.

Guvinder also leads the Assistant Technologist programme. The two year programme allows Food Science or equivalent graduates to get a breadth of experience across all areas of retail.

Chris Gilbert-Wood

IFST Judge

Chris is a professional Food Technologist with 40 years’ experience in retail and manufacturing, having managed quality, food safety and sustainability in both own label and branded supply chains. Much of this time was spent working at the interface between agriculture and the primary processors. A Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology and a Registered Food Safety Principal, Chris is currently working as a consultant in the food industry, using experience and expertise to help others meet their objectives 

James Williams

R&D Director, PepsiCo

James leads a global R&D team developing future solutions in flavours and seasonings across PepsiCo’s food portfolio, including continual improvements to nutritional quality and consumer experience. He has spent 17 years at PepsiCo working on product innovation, portfolio transformation and regional brand management.

Rod Addy

Editor, Food Manufacture

As editor, Rod Addy is responsible for all digital multimedia content delivered on Food Manufacture’s website and through webinars, virtual and face-to-face conferences and its annual Food Manufacture Excellence Awards. His 21-year career as a journalistincludes stints for The Grocer and website Food Navigator, covering topics ranging from NPD to food safety, food science and processing and engineering.

Tim Holmes

Head of Global Quality Strategyand Standards, Diageo

Tim Holmes is responsible for the product quality strategy and agenda for Diageo plc. Tim started his career with Guinness as a brewer and has worked in diverse technical roles over a 30 year career within the Guinness and subsequent Diageo organisations. He uses his passion for quality and flavour to help ensure Diageo’s productsdelight their consumers. Tim is Chair of Campden BRI.

Victoria Fuller

Open Innovation Lead,Research and Nutritional Sciences, Mondelez

Victoria has over 16 years-experience in the food and drink industry including at Mars Incorporated andMondelez International. She has held a variety of roles including quality, food safety, analytical and innovation,including leading teams in emerging and developed markets. Victoria has an interest in partnering externally to drive breakthrough innovation.

Elif Buyukpamukcu

Material Sciences andData Science Group Leader, Nestlé ProductTechnology Centre Confectionery

Elif has been with Nestlé for over 20 years. Food analytical chemist by training, she has held different roles within the R&D organisation across Europe. With her passion for innovation, delivering great tasting products and people development she is currently leading ateam of scientists driving the translation of science andtechnology into confectionery innovations.


Preliminary judging

All entries will be carefully reviewed and then shortlisted by a panel of judges with expertise in new product development:

Simon Allison

Vice Chair IFST Education Committee

Simon Chattock

Head of Vendor Assurance at Compass Group UK & Ireland Ltd

Steve Timms

Commercial Development Manager at Brenntag UK & Ireland

Vince Craig

Managing Director, Meadowbrae Technical Services

Julian Cooper

Owner/Director at 342 Consulting Ltd

Richard Marshall

Senior Lecturer in Food Enterprise at Bath Spa University


If you are an IFST member and would like to be put yourself forward as a preliminary judge, please contact us.