The Industry Support Group consists of the food companies that have a long standing relation with Choices including financial support. To guarantee the independent character of Choices, the industry partners are not involved in the governance of the organization, but are organized in the global and regional Industry Support Groups. The Choices Board and secxretariat are engaged in an ongoing dialogue with these Industry Support Groups on the execution of the Choices strategy and the actions in the regions.
The members of the global Industry Suport Group are:
Hester Maij, Corporate Director Public & Quality Affairs at FrieslandCampina, has a strong background in politics in The Netherlands and is in particular interested in environmental policies.
Before joining FrieslandCampina in 2019, she was a member of the Executive Board of the Dutch province Overijssel, mayor of the city of Zandvoort and alderman of the City of Amsterdam. Having a Master degree in Business Administration, she started her career at the European Parliament in Brussels and has been a member of the Executive Board of the Christian Democratic Party of The Netherlands.
Since September 2017, Dr. Weststrate is Senior Vice President R&D for PepsiCo's Nutrition Category accountable for all R&D activities for brands such as Tropicana, Quaker, Gatorade as well as many regional PepsiCo nutrition brands. He works and lives in Geneva, Switzerland. From January 2015, he was Senior Vice President R&D Global Functions, Governance & Compliance, leading a team of over 800 scientists and engineers overseeing all food safety, quality assurance, scientific & regulatory affairs, nutrition, and measurement sciences, sensory science and consumer product insights and processes, IT systems and information for PepsiCo R&D worldwide, based out Purchase, New York.
Before joining PepsiCo, Dr. Weststrate spent 22 years with Unilever, where he most recently served as Vice President, R&D Savory Category with Unilever's most prominent brand Knorr, based in the UK. In that role, he was accountable for delivering the R&D agenda for Unilever's Savory category.
His prior roles included leading Unilever's Global Foods and Beverages Research (2004-2008) and heading up the Unilever R&D laboratory in Vlaardingen, the Netherlands.
Dr. Weststrate also led the Unilever Health Institute and was Unilever's Chief Nutrition Officer as well as Vice President R&D for Unilever's Health and Wellness category (1999-2003).
Dr. Weststrate received his Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences from the Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands. Dr. Weststrate is also a (co-)author of 85 publications in peer-reviewed journals in human nutrition and food science. He is a Board Member of the New York Academy of Sciences Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science and has been a Board member of the Choices International Foundation.