Food & Drink Experts
Jim Henderson - Operations
Jim Henderson’s career in the food industry started after obtaining a degree in microbiology from Glasgow University, as a microbiologist with British Bakeries (part of the RHM group). He quickly moved into operations being thrown in at the deep end, leading a production team on the shop floor. A whole series of promotions culminated in Jim running his first factory in Dundee before being persuaded into a new sector, Soft Drinks, working with Coop and Princes Group.
Jim’s success in helping grow the business (whilst achieving his MBA from Strathclyde Graduate Business School) attracted the attention of the J M Smucker Company, a large American food group, to establish from scratch a new independent business in Livingston, supplying bake stable fruit fillings to bakery and cereal companies.
Having successfully built and grown this now SME size business, Jim launched an MBO in 2007 which failed, beaten by a large corporate group who offered Jim the opportunity to continue to run the business as a going concern. However, the attraction of the entrepreneurial world resulted in Jim leaving the food industry and starting his own business improvement consultancy which he still runs today
Jim initially engages with clients with a Business Review, where he will evaluate the business Vision and required strategy against the current business capability, before making recommendations as to prioritised interventions needed to get the business to where it wants to go.
Jim’s clients have described him as a fantastically optimistic person whose ideas and engagements are inspiring and motivating. His input helps clients see the wood AND the trees and create a path through, to carry on their journey. Clients benefit from Jim’s great business experience & insight, his entrepreneurial mind set, his love for business and his playfully professional style.
Rhiannon Turner - Patents
Rhiannon Turner is a Chartered UK Patent Attorney and European Patent Attorney with a MA honours degree in natural sciences from Cambridge University. She has a broad scientific background including subjects such as biochemistry, molecular & cellular biology, chemistry and physics. Her subsequent PhD on the functional analysis of a genetic factor associated with the development of high blood pressure gave her practical experience of the excitement and frustration that can come with bench-based research. She has an increasing interest in research in the areas of natural product biotechnology and synthetic biology, for providing possible solutions to many of the world’s pressing challenges.
The potential for patenting is often over looked in the food and drink industry but Rhiannon and her team have had some notable successes in areas such as food and drink compositions, baking and brewing inventions around yeast technology, food processing & packaging, inventions for increasing yield in the dairy industry, potato and other crop storage and waste management from food and drink products.
Rhiannon’s clients range from universities and their spin outs through SMEs, up to multinational companies. In addition, Rhiannon also works with the research commercialisation teams of a number of UK Government departments. She always approaches her work with the client’s commercial and strategic needs in the front of her mind and enjoys collaborating closely with clients to help them best use their IP to develop their business strategy.
Jacek Obuchowicz – Product Development
Jacek Obuchowicz studied chemistry at Lancaster University from where he also obtained his PhD in polymer chemistry. An early job involved developing innovative sweet wrappers.
He has extensive experience in developing innovative printing techniques and indeed co-invented, developed and launched the world’s first negative working thermal printing plate before moving on to 3D printers. A career in the food industry followed with jobs at Unilever, Northern Foods and Premier Foods during which time he researched, developed and saw patented a large number of innovations.
His wide experience has taken in new product and packaging development, nutritionally enriched product development, innovation strategy and mapping development, technology scouting and assessment, open innovation, IP strategy and exploitation and consumer insight. He has particular expertise in tea.
Alan Marson – technology scouting
Alan Marson is a graduate of the University of Salford in Bakery Science and Technology and of the University of Derby in Strategic Manufacturing Practice. He worked initially for Allied Bakeries product development and manufacturing improvement group before joining Northern foods as an innovation manager across a wide range of baked goods and desserts. Further jobs in innovation followed: working with Hovis on innovative ingredients and then to Premier Foods where he had responsibility for innovation scouting, external networks and road mapping to create step change in key brands.
Today Alan helps food and drink businesses of all sizes access and develop new technologies and protect those ideas. Clients benefit from his extensive network and experience in partnering and in introducing new products to the market.