From left to right: Sam Millar, Brigid Mckevith, Martin Macfarlane, Daniel Festring, Helen Munday, Rosemary Wilkinson, Guvinder Abdel-Hady, David Jones, Tim Foster, Rod Addy, Tim Holmes, and Dr Victoria Fuller. 

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. . 

Rod Addy

Editor, Food Manufacture

>As editor, Rod is responsible for all digital multimedia content delivered on Food Manufacture’s website and through webinars, virtual and face-to-face conferences and annual Food Manufacture Excellence Awards. His 20-year career as a journalist includes 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 Strategy and Equity Standards, Diageo

>Tim is responsible for the quality strategy and agenda for Diageo plc. He 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 products delight their consumers. Tim is Chair of Campden BRI.

Victoria Fuller

Open Innovation Lead, Research and Nutritional Sciences, Mondelez

Victoria has more than16 years’ experience in the food and drink industry including at Mars incorporated and Mondelez 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.

Daniel Festring

Food Chemistry Group Leader, Nestlé Product Technology Centre Confectionery

Daniel has been with Nestlé for more than 10 years. Flavour scientist by training, he has held different roles within the R&D organisation. With his passion for innovation and great tasting products he is currently leading a team of scientists driving the translation of science and technology into confectionery innovations.

Rose Wilkinson

Marks and Spencer 

Rose is Head of Techology of the Ambient Snacking ad 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 graduate programme for the M&S technology function. 

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. 

Sam Millar

Director of Quality, Warburtons Ltd

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

Helen Munday

President, IFST

Helen has a wealth of experience of the food and drink sector covering areas such as food safety and science, sustainability, innovation and health and wellbeing.

Guvinder Abdel-Hady 

Category Technical Manager, Sainsbury's 

Guvinder has over 15 years’ experience working across multiple retailers in the technical and development functions.

As a Category Technical Manager at Sainsbury's she is responsible for food safety and integrity, supplier relationships, technical innovation and consistent quality products within the Sainsbury's brand. 

Guvinder also leads the Assistant Technologist programme, a two-year programme to give food science and equivalent graduates a broad range of experience across all areas of retail. 

Martin MacFarlane 

R&D Director, Unilever

Martin has worked for Unilever for 17 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 an R&D Director for the Pepsi Lipton Joint Venture, where a key responsibility is the European Innovation Programme for brands including Lipton Ice Tea. 

Dave Jones 

Senior R&D Manager, PepsiCo 

David works within the Global Product Function R&D team. He has over 30 years' experience within R&D and currently leads a team on the development of new fabricated snack products across the globe.

Tim Foster

Scientific Affairs Director, Campden BRI 

Tim joined Campden BRI as Scientific Affairs Director (2020) and is responsible for the science and technology strategy in meeting member needs and collaborating widely with academia. Previously he was Professor of Food Structure at the University of Nottingham 2007-2020) and Senior Scientist 'Food Structural Design' at Unilever R&D (1992-2007).  

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

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 University


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