From left to right: Rod Addy, Tim Holmes, Victoria Jones, Inderpal Kaur, Alec Kyriakides , Brigid McKevith, Sam Millar, Helen Munday, Nicola Sharman, Martin MacFarlane, Hugh Powell, Chris Huscroft and Graham Street.

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. The dragons will judge each entry on ten areas

Rod Addy

Editor, Food Manufacture

As editor, Rod Addy is responsible for all content in Food Manufacture’s monthly magazine and on its website, plus content delivered through face-to-face conferences and awards. His 19-year career as a journalist includes stints for The Grocer and website Food Navigator, covering topics ranging from NPD to food engineering.

Tim Holmes

Head of Quality, Diageo

Tim Holmes is responsible for the quality strategy and agenda for Diageo plc. After studying Applied Biology at Brunel University, Tim started his career with Guinness as a brewer. He has worked in diverse technical roles over a 30-year career within the Guinness and subsequent Diageo organisations. Prior to his current role Tim was Head of Quality for Diageo’s global beer operations.

Tim uses his passion for quality and flavour to help ensure Diageo’s products delight their consumers. He is a qualified beer sommelier and delivers flavour and tasting training to a wide variety of employees and customers. Tim sits on several industry technical committees and is a Fellow of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. Tim is also currently the Chair of Campden BRI.

Victoria Jones

External Collaboration Leader, Mondelēz

Victoria joined Mondelēz International 16 years ago, where she now has responsibility for the Open Innovation Agenda for Europe. Victoria has a keen interest in the academic-industrial interface identifying the most appropriate commercial partners to drive breakthrough innovation.

Previously, within the same organisation Victoria led a team of scientists developing new technologies capable of transforming the sensory and physical properties of gum and candy, biscuit, and chocolate products under brands as diverse as Cadbury, Milka, BelVita, Oreo and Maynards. Victoria also managed the analytical laboratories of RSSL in the areas of Stability Testing, Physical Sciences and Metals Analysis.

Victoria is an inorganic chemist by training, with an MChem and a DPhil from Oxford University. She has also completed an MA in Applied Management from the Henley Business School. With a passion for communication, previous interests include free-lance editing for international scientific journals.

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Inderpal Kaur

Product Development Manager, Tesco Stores Ltd

Indy started her career working in chocolate innovation and sugar confectionary for Nestlé and Mondelez. She focussed on global strategic projects and blue sky thinking before moving into innovation management. Indy has led various new product development initiatives for Kerry Foods and Gü desserts and now works within the cross-category product development function at Tesco where she is specifically focusing on health, plant based and longer term food trends.

Alec Kyriakides

Head of Central Technical Operations, Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd

Alec Kyriakides is responsible for Sainsbury’s technical management frameworks encompassing Product Safety, Nutrition & Health, Supplier Management, Analytical Integrity, Training and Incident Management. He is also responsible for the Sainsbury’s Brand Academy.Alec has worked at Sainsbury’s for 27 years prior to which he worked in the manufacturing industry.

 He is a member of several industry and government committees and is a Fellow of IFST. He is also the co-author of a variety of technical books on food safety.

Brigid McKevith

Scientific & Regulatory Affairs Senior Manager UK & Ireland, Coca-Cola

Originally from New Zealand, Brigid is a dietitian and registered nutritionist. She has over eighteen years’ experience in the food industry including time spent with companies such as The Nature’s Bounty Company, Tata Global Beverages, Nestle Breakfast Cereals and Yakult, as well as working for NGOs such as the British Nutrition Foundation and the IGD. In 2019 she joined Coca-Cola as Senior Manager for Scientific & Regulatory Affairs where her responsibilities include ensuring compliance of formulations, ingredients, products, packages, labels, claims, and communications for the UK and Ireland.

Sam Millar

Director of Quality, Warburtons Ltd

Sam Millar is the Director of Quality for Warburtons Ltd, responsible for product and packaging quality, food safety and regulatory compliance.  Prior to joining Warburtons Ltd, he was the Director of Technology at Campden BRI where he led a team delivering technical leadership and support to the global food and drink industries.  Sam has served as a Board Director for the Cereals & Grains Association (formerly the American Association of Cereal Chemists International - AACCI) and is a Fellow of the IFST as well as the Academy of the International Association for Cereal Science and Technology (ICC).  He holds a PhD and BSc in Food Science from The Queen’s University of Belfast.

Helen Munday

President IFST & FDF Chief Scientific Officer 

Helen Munday is the Food and Drink Federation’s Chief Scientific Officer.   Helen is accountable for the diverse food safety and science policy briefs, but also has responsibility for sustainability and innovation and contributes to health and wellbeing policy.

Helen has a wealth of experience of the food and drink sector.  Helen started her career with Mars Petcare where she spent 20 years in various roles including nutrition research, product development and innovation processes.  Helen has also held the position of Director of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs for Coca-Cola and worked as Lead Technologist in AgriFood at InnovateUK. 

Helen is President (2020 – 23) and a Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology, and is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and a Registered Nutritionist.   With her qualifications in Agricultural and Meat Science, together with her vast business experience, Helen has a broad and deep knowledge across the entire AgriFood chain. 

Nicola Sharman

Senior Standards & Audit Technologist, Marks & Spencer

Nicola has a MSc in Food Safety Management from University of Central Lancashire and is a Fellow of IFST.

Nicola has worked in the food industry for 25 years. She works for Marks & Spencer as a Senior Standards and Audit Technologist where she develops the industry manufacturing standards, audits new suppliers and supports the category food technologists and their suppliers.

Nicola started her career in food manufacturing, progressing to Technical Manager. She was a company director of a coffee house and gallery in the Lake District, during this time her enthusiasm in food safety management was overriding which led to setting up a consultancy business to support other catering businesses offering food safety qualifications and advice. She then returned to Technical Management in the food industry. Nicola has extensive auditing experience in her current role at M&S and previously worked as a 3rd party auditor, auditing the Marks and Spencer standards.

Martin MacFarlane 

R&D Director, Unilever

Martin is R&D Director for the Pepsi Lipton Joint Venture, responsible for the Innovation Programmes for Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia.

Previously in his 16 year career in Unilever Martin has led teams in the Ice Cream Global and European Design Centres responsible for understanding the science of ice cream structure, developing technologies to deliver new consumer benefits and experiences, and designing new products and recipes for brands including Carte D’Or and Walls.

His first role in Unilever was in the Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre where he worked on ensuring the safety of various personal care and food products. This followed his previous job with the UK Government Home Office where he held roles as an analytical chemist and toxicology project leader following a degree in Chemistry and an MSc in Toxicology.

Hugh Powell

Academic Partnerships Lead, Nestlé NPTC Confectionery

Hugh has worked for Nestlé Product Technology Centre Confectionery in York for the past 17 years. He has held a number of roles spanning the R&D process from laboratory to factory implementation. He is particularly passionate about KITKAT® having led R&D for the brand for four years. He currently leads academic and research partnerships for the confectionery category alongside an expert role in wafer technology and food materials science.

Hugh graduated with a BSc in Chemical Physics from University of Bristol and went on to study for a PhD from the same institution while working at the Institut Laue Langevin in Grenoble. Prior to joining Nestlé he worked in academia for 14 years, holding research positions and lectureships in Chemistry at the Universities of Lausanne, Adelaide and Durham.

Chris Huscroft

Chief Executive, Campden BRI

Chris was appointed Chief Executive of Campden BRI in January 2020, having joined the business in October 2018

Prior to this he spent 28 years with CSM Bakery Solutions, leaving as Development Director for Bakery Products in Europe. He joined what became CSM (British Arkady and then Unilever) in 1989 and held many senior roles in the UK and Europe, mainly in R&D, but also Supply Chain and Quality Management. He led major capital projects – building a food factory in the UK, and an Innovation Centre in Belgium. For 12 years he was a senior member of the Council of Experts of the European Margarine Association.

Chris has lived and worked in Germany and The Netherlands for more than six years and spent a further five years based in Belgium. Throughout his career, he has worked in many cross-cultural teams across Europe and the USA.

Following graduation from Newcastle University in Chemical Engineering (1980), Chris’ early career was with Procter & Gamble and Pura Foods - reaching Company Technical Manager - prior to joining CSM. 

Chris is a Fellow of both the IFST, and the IChemE.

Graham Street

Senior R&D manager, PepsiCo

Graham began work in the chemical industry working for Johnson Matthey on the development of new automotive catalytic converters, before switching to food packaging and finally food. He has worked on snack food and beverages such as chocolate, chewing gum, candy, and coffee for Cadbury, Kraft and Mondelez.

He currently leads a team of product developers within PepsiCo’s break through innovation group. This team is focused on the development and deployment of innovations for fabricated chips across the globe.

Preliminary judging

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

Helen Sharman

Principal Scientist at McCormick & Company

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

Professor Carol Phillips

Former Professor of Microbiology and Deputy Dean
at University of Northampton (Retired)

Julian Cooper

Owner/Director at 342 Consulting Ltd

Richard Marshall

Senior Lecturer in Food Enterprise at Bath Spa

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