Industry Support Group
The Choices member companies on a global level are organized in the International Industry Support Group. This group is engaged in an ongoing dialogue with the Board and it advises the Board about the strategy and implementation on a global level from the industry perspective.
The members of the International Industry Support Group are:
- Hester Maij (FrieslandCampina)
- Jan Westrate (PepsiCo)
For the East Asian region, Choices International is advised by the regional East Asian Industry Support Group. The support group members are:
- Wei Tang (Unilever)
- Kitty Wang (PepsiCo)
- Leslie Chong (FrieslandCampina)
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 is based out of Geneva. Previously, 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 biggest brand Knorr, based in the U.K. In that role he was accountable to deliver 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 PhD 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.
Wei Tang (Unilever)
Wei Tang is the Regional Head of Nutrition External Engagement (Asia) of Unilever. She supports Unilever’s external nutrition and health-related programs and collaboration across Asia.
Wei Tang had her MSc in Biology and Innovation in quality and production of vegetables respectively at University Paris XIII and University Paris XI. Before joining Unilever, she worked in Danone for ten years at various positions related to Nutrition & Science, Product Development and Scientific Affairs in France and China.
During 2009-2012, she initiated a series of fluid intake study in collaboration with China CDC, which filled the scientific gap of fluid intake status among Chinese population and was taken into consideration for the revision of Chinese Water Intake Recommendations. She has joined Unilever in 2017 as Regional Head of Nutrition External Engagement for North Asia and expanded her responsibility to South East Asia and Australasia (SEAA) region from 2018.
Liu Feng (PepsiCo)
Liu Feng is the R&D Nutritional Science Director of PepsiCo for Greater China & APAC, which includes Singapore, Korea, Japan, Thailand but not covering India and Middle East Africa. His primary job responsibility is providing nutrition science, support to guide innovations, brand communications as well as acting PepsiCo representative in external meetings related to nutrition in China and APAC. Liu Feng is a registered dietician of the Chinese Nutrition Society.
Before joining PepsiCo, Liu Feng was working for Danone and Kraft Foods for six and three years respectively. There are two main activities that excite Liu:
- The ability to translate science into communication messages for consumers to support business growth, e.g. whole grain communication
- To guide portfolio transformation to reducing added sugar, sodium and saturated fat and to increase positive nutrition.
As a hobby, Liu Feng is a passionate badminton player.
Leslie Chong (FrieslandCampina)
Leslie Chong was appointed Director, Public Affairs and Communications of FrieslandCampina Asia, Middle East and Africa in Q3 2019.
He is also currently a Member of the Coordinating Council of Food Industry Asia and a Member of the Executive Committee of the Asia Pacific Infant and Young Child Nutrition Association.
Leslie began his career as a manager in Trade Development Board, a statutory board under the Singapore Government’s Ministry of Trade and Industry in 2000. He had a four-year stint in Vietnam and China when he was the Centre Director of the TDB offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Beijing.
In 2007, he joined BAT China and over a span of 9 years, he held various subject matter council and management roles and was based out of Beijing, Taipei and Hong Kong. Notably, he was the Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs.
Leslie moved back to Singapore and joined Diageo in 2015 as the Corporate Relations Director. Over the next four years, he led the public affairs, communications and sustainability agenda for Diageo in Southeast Asia.
A Singapore national, Leslie is currently based in Singapore. He is a civil engineering graduate of the National University of Singapore.