From left to right: Gareth Snowdon, Martin Macfarlane, Patrick Carter, Julian Cooper, Lindsay Dobson

Miles Eddowes, Alec Kyriakides, Rod Addy, Steven Walker and Brett Warburton.

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 is responsible for all content in Food Manufacture’s monthly magazine and on its website, plus content delivered through face-to-face conferences and its annual Food Manufacture Excellence Awards. He has spent 17 years as a journalist, working for William Reed Publishing, including stints at The Grocer and website Food Navigator, covering topics ranging from food science and product development to food safety and engineering issues for food and drink manufacturers. He has reported on the successful rise as well as the unfortunate demise of numerous innovations, retailers and brands over the years and is a passionate advocate for progress, training and new ideas in the food industry.

Patrick Carter

Technical Manager, Marks and Spencer

Patrick is a food science graduate from the University of Reading he has previously worked as a food technologist, a buyer and in regulatory affairs within the company. 

Beyond M&S, Patrick has held significant commercial roles at Starbucks (Head of Category, UK & Ireland), Brakes (Commercial Director – Drinks & Impulse categories) and Iceland Foods.

Through these roles, Patrick has led teams in the management of global supply relationships, significant business change and integration projects. He has held regulatory accountability in significant markets at home and abroad and led major customer facing category management initiatives in own-label and internationally branded environments.

Patrick is also a Fellow of the IFST.

Julian Cooper

Chair Scientific Committee and Board Trustee, IFST

Julian is an internationally renowned carbohydrate expert. During his 35 year career in the sugar industry he developed extensive experience in process and product development including reformulation and research and development in the food sector. Since retiring in 2015 he has been active in the IFST where he chairs the Scientific Committee and is a Board Trustee. In 2017 he was a judge for both the UK heat and the European final of Ecotrophelia.

Lindsay Dobson

R&D Senior Manager, PepsiCo

Lindsay is currently R&D Senior Manager for Global Foods Innovation and leads a team of process engineers focused on developing breakthrough processes for business growth through the application of new technologies. Lindsay is a Chartered Manufacturing Engineer and has worked in and led teams for many global multinationals including BAE systems, Sara Lee, PA Consulting and PepsiCo. This has involved working on innovation projects for a diverse range of products including aircraft, cars, trains, FMCG, foods and government organisations. Lindsay has applied a common innovation and "lead by design" approach to all these categories. She now works on the fun brands of Lays, Doritos and Cheetos. 

Miles Eddowes

Mondelez International 

Miles leads the Mondelez International Global Science Centre at Reading as well as the Global Crop Research programs and the company wide strategies for Open Innovation / Intellectual Property. These support billion-dollar brands as diverse as Cadbury, Oreo, Belvita, Milka, Tang and Toblerone.

Prior to this role, Miles was the Open Innovation Champion at Cadbury with previous experience at Unilever and Unipath - one of the world’s foremost innovators in women’s health consumer diagnostics.

Miles holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Science from Oxford University, a Master of Science in Instrumentation from Manchester University and a Ph.D. in Medical Physics from University College London. He is a Chartered Engineer and Member of The Institution of Engineering and Technology.

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 Technical Management Academy.

Alec has worked at Sainsbury’s for 24 years prior to which he worked in the manufacturing industry. He is a member of several industry and government committees and is a Member of IFST. He is also the co-author of a variety of technical books on food safety.

Martin MacFarlane

Senior R&D Manager - Ice Cream, Unilever

Martin has a degree in Chemistry from Durham University and an MSc in Toxicology. He began his career with the UK Government Home Office as an analytical chemist and later moved on to become a toxicology project leader.

Martin joined Unilever’s Safety and Environmental Assurance Centre in 2004. Over the years, he has worked on ensuring the safety of products including deodorants, toothpastes, hair care, spreads, dressings, ice cream and tea. Many of the brands involved are household names.

Martin now works in Unilever’s Ice Cream Global Design Centre leading a team who apply their understanding of the complex science of ice cream to develop recipes and technologies that deliver new consumer benefits and experiences.

Gareth Snowdon

Quality Safety and Environment Manager, Coca-Cola

Gareth caught the bug of working for Coca-Cola whilst still studying for his degree in Microbiology and Genetics at Leicester University. After graduating in 1990, he moved to a permanent position with Coca-Cola and Schweppes working as a lab technician. During his 28 years working within the Coca-Cola system of companies he has held a variety of roles, including running manufacturing lines, packaging development and implementation and supplier management across Europe. Notable achievements are the accreditation of the first Coca-Cola factory in the world to meet the strict Coca-Cola Quality Management System, lightweighting of the iconic 250ml Coca-Cola glass bottle, and numerous new product launches including Glaceau Smartwater. 

In his current role as GB and Ireland Quality Safety and Environment Manager, he is responsible for the Quality Assurance of new product launches and ensuring Coca-Cola products meet the high standards demanded by today's consumers.

Steven Walker

Chief Executive, Campden BRI

Steven obtained his degree in Food Science and PhD in Microbiology from the Queen’s University of Belfast, before joining the Microbiology Department of Campden BRI in 1986. In this role, he worked extensively on predictive microbiology and chilled foods microbiology.

From 1994 to 2004, Steven undertook the newly created role of Director of Research, which guided, directed and managed the company’s research programme, funded by membership subscriptions, UK Government, the EC and industrial consortia.

Following four years as Director of Cereals and Cereal Processing, where he led and managed the research, consultancy, analytical and training activities of the division, Steven was appointed as Chief Executive in 2009.

During his 32 years’ service, Steven has played a major role in both the scientific and commercial aspects of the business, working closely with senior technical, operational, financial and political representatives from the agri-food and allied industries and funding bodies in the UK and overseas.

Brett Warburton

Executive Director, Warburtons

Brett has help mainly operational roles at Warburtons Limited and was appointed Joint Managing Director (Operations) in 1991, becoming Managing Director in 2001 until May 2006, when he took up his current role of Executive Director.

Brett holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, is Pro Chancellor of the University of Bolton and was Chair of Campden BRI Council from 2011 until June 2016.


Preliminary judging

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

Simon Chattock

Head of Vendor Assurance, Compass Group UK & Ireland

Vince Craig

Managing Director, Meadowbrae Technical Services

Dominic Darby

Technical Manager - Foods Technical Centre, Marks and Spencer

Kelvin Thomson

Owner, Pinnacle Food & Drink Services

Steve Timms

Business Manager Ingredients Export, Leathams