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Future-proofing nutritious, sustainable new product development

Virtual Event – Wednesday, 24th March 2021

The commitment to sustainability within Gen Z generates a huge amount of power and drive just waiting to be harnessed in the next cohort of employees. To take advantage of this, you must promote the opportunities and rewards of sustainable new product development (S-NPD) to this dynamic group as an important and exciting career path.

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Event Schedule:

Morning Chair:

Dr Sally Moore RD, Industrial Engagement Teaching Fellow, School of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Leeds

Session 1

09.00 – 10.00

Sustainable new product development: a wealth of opportunity

NPD is at the heart of what makes the food and drink industry an exciting place to be. As we shift to prioritising sustainable diets, NPD is crucial to adapting our food systems to make that a reality. But do new graduates who are passionate about environmental issues see the sector in that way? What are the barriers faced by NPD professionals when communicating why the sector is so rewarding and getting the right people into the right roles? What do the rewards of success in S-NPD really look like?


Anna Richey, Director/Founder, Two Chicks

Simon Waite, Innovation Director, Addo Food Group

Dr Jonathan Brown, Programme Leader – Food Science and Nutrition, University of Surrey

10.15 – 11.45

Virtual 1-2-1 networking meetings

Make use of our unique networking platform connecting industry to industry, academia and candidates

10:30 – 11:00

Personal interview: my food career

Suzanne Davies, R&D Lead, PepsiCo Future Brands

11:00 – 12:00

Career at DOHLER

We Bring Ideas to Life – Introduction to the Doehler Group ‘Who are we and what career opportunities do we provide’ Presented by Jacinta Heaton, Business Partner HR
Product development and innovation ‘Solutions for innovative chocolate’ Presented by Stefanie Engel, Market Segment Manager
Meet Jenny Smith, UK Applications Manager and Senior Applications Developer Hugh Brown and find out how their Careers have developed in this exciting sector and what its like working for Doehler.

12.00 – 13.00

Student personality and profile: joining the next generation of sustainable product developers

Beyond a commitment to creating sustainable food systems and healthier eating, how crucial are skills and attributes such as creativity and business acumen to new recruits aiming to flourish in this demanding and innovative environment? What should students and applicants be looking to demonstrate in their approaches to food businesses? What experience and attitudes are employers looking for?


Emma Weston, Associate Professor in Food Sciences, University of Nottingham

Johnny Durant, Assistant Product Development Manager, Plant Protein Green Cuisine Team, Nomad Foods and recent Food Science graduate (2017)

Dr Simona Grasso, Senior Research Fellow, University of Reading

13.15 – 14.45

Virtual 1-2-1 networking meetings

Make use of our unique networking platform connecting industry to industry, academia and candidates

Afternoon Chair: Teresa Frith, Senior Skills Policy Manager, Association of Colleges

14.00 – 14.30

Personal interview: my career journey to establishing a start up brand

Jenny Costa, Founder and CEO, Rubies in the Rubble

14.30 – 15.30

Virtual 1-2-1 networking meetings

Make use of our unique networking platform connecting industry to industry, academia and candidates

15.30 – 16.30

Ensuring academic training is fit for purpose: from apprenticeships to university

With seismic shifts taking place in employment and working patterns across the globe, there has never been a more important time to ensure that education is meeting the needs of industry. As climate concerns intensify, the S-NPD sector is heavily aligned with the values of young people but school and university careers services often lack the necessary information and understanding to effectively promote this synergy. What needs to be done to square this circle? What possible routes exist directly from school to NPD roles? And how can relationships between industry and academia be strengthened?


Emily Chater, Technical Services Manager, Pilgrim’s Pride Ltd and Food Manufacture Apprentice of the Year Finalist 2021

Laurena Robinson, Director of Partnerships, Founders4Schools

Dr Caroline Millman, Senior Lecturer and Programme Director, Food Industry Technical Professional Degree Apprenticeship, Sheffield Hallam University