The Judging Panel
World Dairy Innovation Awards 2023
Briony has been invited back onto the judging panel for World Dairy Innovation Awards 2023! She started her journey in the food and drink industry graduating at Leeds University back in 2017. She now works at International Taste Solutions (I.T.S.), an independent UK flavour house, as their Dairy Innovation Specialist. Briony looks after the ever-growing portfolio of dairy customers, working closely with both large national dairies and exciting start-up brands.
She works across a wide range of applications helping to improve the taste in both dairy and dairy alternative products. Briony also manages I.T.S.' UHT pilot facility to stress test flavourings and run customer trials.
When she’s not busy in the lab, she’s out exploring the dairy market focusing on all the latest trends and new product launches. She cannot wait to see what new dairy creations the entrants have developed and learn all about the finalists
Dairy Innovation Specialist. International Taste Solutions
Rafaela is the assistant editor at FoodBev Media and Refreshment magazine, a publication that focuses on the water, coffee and vending industries. Rafaela enjoys keeping up to date with the latest trends and developments in the food and beverage sector, particularly plant-based and functional applications.
From bakery to botanicals, plant-based to packaging, functional foods to flavours, Rafaela has written about it all! She is excited to see products that fall within the flexitarian category, as well as seafood alternatives and upcycled produce.
News Reporter. FoodBev Media
Raquel Melo is Vice President of Product Innovation at Dairy Farmers of America, the largest dairy cooperative in the United States. In that role, she is responsible for driving innovation strategy, new product development and go to market strategy for the Dairy Brands division, which represents DFA’s many retail and food service brands across multiple dairy categories.
Previously, Raquel was Vice President of Innovation and New Business Development at Land O’Lakes Inc. She began her marketing career at General Mills, Inc. She is a graduate of Brown University and Harvard Business School. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in New York City and New England, she has been happy to call Minneapolis, MN (USA) home for over 20 years.
Vice President, Product Innovation. DFA Dairy Brands
Dr. Shane Cooney is a leader in Research & Development and FMCG Manufacturing with over a decade of experience driving growth and profitability for commercial organisations in Australia, Ireland, and China. Currently serving as Head of R&D at Saputo Dairy Australia, Shane leads a team to deliver new products from concept through to commercialisation across the Dairy and Infant Nutrition categories.
Having started his career with Danone in Europe, Shane has a wealth of experience across multiple facets of the food manufacturing business, having worked in operations, quality, strategic capital projects, business development, and R&D.
Shane holds a BSc (Hons) in Industrial Microbiology and a PhD in Molecular Microbiology from University College Dublin. In addition, Shane is an established member of the Melbourne University Dairy Innovation Hub committee
Head of R&D, Saputo Dairy Australia
Veronique has directed the new California Dairy Innovation Center (CDIC) since December 2020. The CDIC was formed by the California Milk Advisory Board, USA, to stimulate and support product-oriented innovation in the industry. The CDIC funds research, applications and training programs for the dairy industry, and support the “incubator” program for entrepreneurs and start-ups.
She worked for the American Dairy Products, USA (2018-2020) with a focus on educating American consumers on the superior benefits of dairy proteins, while also providing technical support to the industry. Previously, she spent over 20 years with the US Dairy Export Council, USA, where she ran business development, product and nutrition research programs in China, North and SE Asia, Mexico and Latin America.
She holds a BS in Food science and Nutrition, MS in Food Science, and completed professional engineering and management programs at George Washington University, Yale and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She lives in Sacramento, California.
Director, California Dairy Innovation Center, USA
Yi is responsible for Dairy Marketing based in Amcor’s headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. Yi joined Amcor in 2008 and held multiple roles in marketing, innovation and business development based in USA and Europe. Yi’s market knowledge spans across diverse consumer goods segments and is an active champion for Sustainability and Digitalisation. Yi holds an MBA from Henry B. Tippie School of Management, The University of Iowa, USA.