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Capability Leader - Ingredient Specialist

Posted: 19 Feb 2021 Closes: 19 Apr 2021
Wageningen, Netherlands Competitive
Permanent & Full-time URUVGLOBAL3155

Global Ingredient Specialists Capability Leader

A better business. A better world. A better you


LOCATION:                   Wageningen (NL) Or Colworth (UK)

WORKING HOURS:      fulltime


Unilever is one of the world's largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) businesses, with well known brands such as Knorr, Hellman’s, Dove & Domestos.

At Unilever we have set out to make a difference to those big issues that matter most to our business and to the world. Our goal: transformational change at system level.

Fundamental change to whole systems is needed if we are to make a genuine difference. Our transformational change agenda combines direct action on the UN Sustainable Development Goals with partnerships and external advocacy to create change on a systemic scale – while creating business opportunities and delivering relevant innovations at the same time. Our purpose-led, future-fit Unilever Compass strategy is guiding us and is built on three beliefs: brands with purpose grow; companies with purpose last; and people with purpose thrive. 


The global Foods and Refreshment (F&R) Research and Development (R&D) Digital & Data capability is the central team in F&R R&D to enable and lead the digital transformation of our organisation. Our core expertise area and responsibility are to provide the systems expertise and user solutions to drive data quality in our core ingredient and product specifications. Increasingly, we are also strengthening our capability in data engineering, visualisation, reporting and data science to extract the maximum value from the data we have, and use data to support F&R’s in-silico design agenda. The capability teams are working closely together with many other teams across F&R R&D, ranging from Regional Deploy and Local Deploy teams on product specs to Global Deploy Centers, Science & Technology, and Capability teams on data science and modelling.

Job holder will lead Food Ingredient Specifications Capability and the newly created Ingredient Specialists Team - experts who exclusively own Unilever F&R ingredients data quality standards and make sure the standard applies for entire F&R ingredient portfolio in Unilever Globally. The Capability assures high quality, on time delivery of new or changed ingredient specifications in Unilever technical data system - SAP PLM. The team reporting to the role will include experienced experts in the area and fresh recruits. You will play a key role driving the ongoing transformation of our capability applying data expertise and agility.


  • Leads group of 8 Ingredient Specialists co-located between two Unilever R&D sites Wageningen (NL) and Colworth (UK). Coordinates program delivered by the team, assuring fit for purpose, and fulfilling company strategy. Makes sure the team apply effective processes and speed with agile approach
  • Acts as active partner to the Ingredients Material Expert Teams, in line with company strategy co-defining program and efficient processes to develop new and/or up-lift active Ingredient Specifications used in F&R products globally. Keeps close interface with other R&D teams globally, as well as procurement and suppliers as required
  • Is the F&R Data & System expert for ingredient specifications. Proactively recommends usage of data and tools that can improve speed and/or quality. Recommends opportunities in developing IT tools that simplify and improve efficiency of R&D work related to ingredient specifications. Co-owns the systems and tools with Category and Digital R&D.
  • Owns and apply Food Ingredient Specifications quality standards fulfilling requirements of business partners – R&D, Make and Go to market SC, Marketing, Regulatory etc. Effectively drives its implementation among Foods & Refreshment Division Globally,
  • Assures meaningful data structure in Food ingredient specifications considering requirements up-stream and down-stream for Unilever internally (tools and databases) and externally. Leads ingredient specifications Data Management Projects. Identifies existing and potential data gaps in Food ingredient specifications and drives improvements.
  • Drives digital & data culture in Unilever R&D being ambassador of IT tools and digital processes.


  • Education: MSc degree in Food Chemistry or similar.
  • Experience: In Food Formulation and Chemistry, Food Production and Quality, Ingredient specifications management. Favorable experience in Nutrition, Regulatory and Food Law.
  • At least 2 years’ experience in leading teams/people and managing projects.
  • Excellent data meaning skills. Knowledge about management of databases, Power BI, data analytics, and reporting including interpretation of results.
  • Languages: Proficient in English (speaking and writing).
  • Experience in working with multi-functional, multi-located and multi-cultural teams.
  • Additional competencies:
    • Solution-oriented mindset and ability to transfer this thinking across teams.,
    • Affinity with details and ability to see the bigger picture. Have a structured and consistent way of working,
    • Show engagement and creativity.
    • Effective networking within and outside Unilever
    • Applied agility in managing projects


  • Opportunity to work on brands with the power to brighten peoples’ lives all over the world.
  • Be part of a diverse and ambitious team shaping the future of Food and Refreshment brands.
  • Exciting career opportunities & competitive benefits in a global, purpose led business.
  • We are looking for the right people for our roles and our ambition, we are open to talk about how our flexible working policies can make this role the right one for you.


Join Unilever and our team!  To apply, you must do so online. Please do not forget to upload your CV and a motivation letter. 

Your application will be reviewed against our requirements and we will be in touch shortly after the closing date to provide you with an update on the status of your application.



Equal Opportunity Employer: Unilever is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, or any other basis protected by applicable law, and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability.

Please note this is a Direct Search led by Unilever. Applications from agencies will not be accepted, nor will fees be paid for unsolicited CVs.


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