The judges

Our judging panel of seasoned industry experts will carefully review each submission against the judging criteria. After much deliberation they choose their top five in each category. Scores are collated to reveal the winners and finalists in each category!

Our awards are based on innovation, therefore all entries will be judged based on the concept of their product as opposed to taste. All judges will be basing their scores against the entrants 200-word description they upload alongside their supporting imagery and documentation. This is to ensure that all judging is fair and that all judging is based on exactly what the entrant has supplied.

The judging will take place 2 weeks after the entry deadline.

Due to the sheer amount of entries, we will only be notifying entrants that have been shortlisted and will contact them no later than June 2019. If you do not hear from us by this time then, unfortunately, it means you have not been shortlisted.

Zenith Global

The World Dairy Innovation Awards are organised in association with Zenith Global’s 13th Global Dairy Congress.

Click here to register for the event

Andrew Ive

Founder, Big Idea Ventures

Ive founded Big Idea Ventures and is responsible for investing and building companies in the alternative protein and plant based sectors. As the former MD of Food-X, Ive has invested in more early stage and pre-seed food companies than any other investor worldwide.

Ive is focused on innovation, developing high-growth businesses opportunities and as a business advisor in multiple verticals. Ive serves on the Advisory Board for Tufts Nutrition Council, is a friedman school entrepreneurship advisor, and has served on the Small Business Council Board of the Department of Trade and Industry advising the UK Government on entrepreneurship and high growth companies. He is also a Harvard Business School graduate, and is Procter & Gamble brand management trained.

Donna Berry

Owner, Dairy & Food Communications

Berry is the owner of Dairy & Food Communications, a company that specialises in business-to-business writing, speaking and consulting projects in the dairy, beverage and food industries. She has a Bachelors Degree in Food Science from the University of Illinois and product development industry experience with Kraft Foods. She has been writing for the dairy trade since 1993, and opened her own business in 2000.

Berry has been tracking consumer behaviours and food trends, with an emphasis on dairy, for nearly 25 years. She currently writes for numerous trade publications, including Dairy Business News, Food Business News, Meat & Poultry, Baking & Snack and Culinology. Until February 2012, she had been the ingredient technology editor and new products trend tracker for Dairy Foods magazine.

Raquel Melo

Senior innovation lead, Kemps LLC

Melo leads the innovation function at Kemps LLC, a subsidiary of Dairy Farmers of America, the largest dairy cooperative in the United States. Until recently, she was vice president of Innovation and New Business Development at Land O’Lakes Inc., an agri-business cooperative based in Minnesota. Melo began her marketing career at General Mills, Inc.

Melo is chairman of The Brand Lab, a non-profit organisation dedicated to expanding access to marketing careers for under-privileged young people.

Maya Orr

Senior consultant – awards & campaigns, Lidl UK

Orr began her career in broadcast in 2010. She worked for a radio PR agency and quickly rose to head up all the food and drink promotions, which uncovered a true culinary passion.

She then went on to work in more traditional PR agencies, where she discovered more about the farm to fork element of food, and sourcing became a big interest of hers – understanding where our food comes from is something that resonates with Orr.

Orr holds a Wine and Sprit Education Trust (WSET) accreditation and has worked with a number of international food and drink brands/authorities such as Jarlsberg Cheese, Applewood Cheddar and the Red Tractor.

In 2017 she was appointed head of awards within Lidl’s Marketing team. Orr initially joined Lidl’s PR team after launching the supermarkets first-ever PR campaign for its French wine offering in 2014 and now oversees all awards for the business, as well as a number of above the line campaigns including Big On Quality, Lidl on Price.

Natasha Bowes

Founder & Managing Director, Biotiful Dairy

Seven years ago, Bowes founded Biotiful Dairy, a top Kefir brand in the UK. Unable to find in London, her adopted home, a Kefir that met her standards, she saw an opportunity to share with the consumer in Western Europe a high-quality, all-natural, delicious Kefir.

Looking to make a positive difference to people’s food choices, Bowes spent months in her own kitchen perfecting the recipe of the Kefir she wanted to launch. She brought in the best technologies from Russia and adapted it to UK production in order to create Biotiful Kefir. Being at the forefront of the trends for fermented foods, gut health and natural products, Biotiful has gone on to grow exponentially, bringing Kefir to the UK mainstream market.

Theresa Schaefer

Marketing manager, Land O’Lakes

Schaefer is a marketing manager at Land O’Lakes, a farmer-owned cooperative best known for its branded butter products.

Across her various roles at Land O’Lakes, Schaefer has developed a passion for connecting marketplace needs with product ideas. From mapping consumer whitespace opportunities to building foodservice innovation pipelines and leading product concepts through development, Schaefer has had the opportunity to touch innovation from multiple perspectives.

In her current role, Schaefer strives to accelerate the pace of innovation by employing a test and learn mentality to manage risk. What she enjoys most about her role, and innovation at large, is the challenge of delivering meaningful differentiation in a consumer or customer’s mind when the food landscape is shifting at an exponential rate.

Kinga Adamaszwili

Senior nutrition, health and food law officer, European Dairy Association

Adamaszwili is a senior nutrition, health and food law officer at the European Dairy Association (EDA) where she is responsible for the EU food policy topics related to health & nutrition, claims & labelling and food ingredients.

Before joining EDA, she had worked for several years in a Brussels-based trade association representing the European consumer health care industry (AESGP) as a manager for food related issues in charge of food supplements regulatory affairs.

Adamaszwili has professional experience in the fields of nutrition, food legislation and public health in a number of organisations, including the Polish Chief Sanitary Inspectorate in Warsaw, the World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe in Copenhagen (WHO Europe), the European Commission Food and Veterinary Office in Ireland (FVO) and the European Food Safety Authority in Parma (EFSA).

Yumiko Magara Wilkey

Senior insight manager, Zenith Global Ltd

Wilkey is senior insight manager of Commercial Group at Zenith Global Ltd, and is responsible for the Zenith’s Insight Team of analysts. Wilkey is responsible for market intelligence and insight activities which include global databases for dairy and beverage categories as well as management of diverse food and beverage projects.

She specialises in the dairy and beverage markets in Asia Pacific, and also oversees the management of global research coordination for all data and insight activities.


Marcelo Pereira de Carvalho

Founder and CEO, AgriPoint

de Carvalho is the founder and CEO of AgriPoint, a company that provides qualified information for the dairy market in Brazil through many channels: websites, symposiums and consulting services.

Its website, MilkPoint, is the largest think tank for the dairy sector in Brazil, with over 100,000 subscribers. Thes MilkPoint Mercado dairy market intelligence service has over 200 corporate customers.

de Carvalho has led more than 300 talks in 19 countries in the last 10 years, on the following topics: Brazilian dairy market perspectives; world dairy trade and perspectives; supply chain management in the dairy sector and milk promotion; and strategy and dairy innovation.

de Carvalho is also Co-founder of AgTech Garage, a connection hub for agtech startups and corporations.

Daniel Maffezzoli

Analyst, AccelFoods

Maffezzoli is the analyst at AccelFoods where he supports the operations and investment activities of the Fund. Maffezzoli plays a significant role in the Fund’s sourcing activities and participates in evaluating dozens of innovative food and beverage start-ups per week

Most recently, Maffezzoli worked on AccelFoods’ investment in Nounós Creamery, a premium, bag-strained Greek yogurt brand sold in 100% recyclable glass jars. Prior to his now two years at AccelFoods, Maffezzoli graduated with distinction from Kenyon College (Gambier, OH) where he studied biology and modern languages with a focus on sustainable food science.

Gerrit Smit

Managing director, Yili Innovation Center Europe

Smit (PhD) is the managing director of Yili Innovation Center Europe, which is based in The Netherlands.

Before joining Yili, he worked as the senior vice president of research and development (R&D) at Valio, Finland (2011-2015), where he was responsible for the R&D portfolio, in particular the long-term strategy, and open innovation with external partners.

Previous to that, he worked in Unilever (2004-2011) as the director of R&D covering the areas of flavour and consumer research, as well as leading Open Innovation in the area of flavours. He also was a member of the global management team of the Unilever Food and Health Research Institute.

From 1993 until 2004, he worked at NIZO food research in The Netherlands, where he was a board member responsible for the Flavour, Nutrition and Ingredients departments. Moreover, he held an endowed professorship for 12 years at Wageningen University (NL) in Molecular Flavour Science.

Robert Van Gasteren

Non-executive advisor, Annlyz

Robert Van Gasteren Van Gasteren has expertise in various different functions, including consulting, HR, operations, transformation and sales, and will use this experience when acting as a judge. He has worked as both an investor and advisor to start-up companies, helping them to scale up. Van Gasteren has helped corporates to find external innovations to use or invest in.

Like consumers, corporates have discovered the importance of healthy nutrition and sustainable packaging at a fair price. Van Gasteren finds it essential to get close to the end user and engage with them, almost personalising the experience through smart combinations of product “purpose”, design, branding, IT tooling and data.

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