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EIT Food announces new Chairperson and Supervisory Board members

EIT Food’s Supervisory Board appoints Michiel de Ruiter to the role of Chairperson of the Supervisory Board, following its Partner Assembly.

04 Feb 2022

EIT Food, the world’s largest and most dynamic food innovation community, has announced the appointment of five new members to its Supervisory Board, including a new Chairperson, Michiel de Ruiter. EIT Food is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

Michiel de Ruiter, a former CEO of Zeelandia, a bakery ingredients company with operations in 30 countries and 3,500 FTE’s, replaces Andrew Thomas, R&D Director - Global Breakthrough Foods at Pepsico, who has held the position of Interim Chairperson for the past seven months. Andrew Thomas will continue in his former role representing CLC North-West on the Supervisory Board.

Michiel de Ruiter is one of five new members of the Supervisory Board who were appointed by EIT Food Partners at the Partner Assembly:

  • Michiel de Ruiter: an independent member and Chairperson of the Supervisory Board with 30 years' experience working in food companies (Dairy, bakery, ingredients).
  • Cybelle-Royce Buyck: an independent member with 14 years of experience in the public sector and over seven years in the private sector at a leading global brewer. Ms Buyck has proven experience in successfully leading complex cross-functional strategic projects with long-term ESG goals.
  • Dr Thomas Engel: representing CLC Central, Dr Engel, manager of John Deere's Technology Innovation Strategy in Europe, brings to the role over 30 years of management experience in public funded projects with a focus on sustainable agriculture and precision farming.
  • Katherine Foster: an independent member and former Canadian Diplomat, Ms Foster now specialises in innovative funding models and partnerships, and has 30 years of experience spearheading innovation at the nexus of technology, policy and sustainability including with EIT Climate-KIC.
  • Pauline Lindwall: an independent member, Ms Lindwall has worked with some of the most recognised global FMCG brands including Nestlé and Mondelez and brings a wealth of international experience to the role.

They join existing Supervisory Board members Andrew Thomas (representing CLC North-West), Dr Michelle Williams (representing CLC North-East) and David Shem Tov (representing CLC South).

Michiel de Ruiter, Chairperson of the EIT Food Supervisory Board, said:

“I am honoured to have been both appointed to the EIT Food Supervisory Board by the Partners, and to have been voted as Chairperson by my fellow board members. I am passionate about working with EIT Food to ensure a future-fit food system, and I believe the Supervisory Board has an important role to play in helping to shape the future direction of the organisation and further build the unique ecosystem driving innovation in food in Europe.”  

Dr Andy Zynga, CEO of EIT Food, said:

“It is my pleasure to welcome our new Supervisory Board members to EIT Food. The depth and breadth of their collective expertise will really enhance what we can offer our community. I look forward to the important work we will do together in the coming months and years to ensure we can continue our mission towards a healthy, sustainable European food system for all.”  

For more information, please contact: EIT Food press office at 

About EIT Food  

EIT Food is the world’s largest and most dynamic food innovation community. We accelerate innovation to build a future-fit food system that produces healthy and sustainable food for all. ​  

Supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, we invest in projects, organisations and individuals that share our goals for a healthy and sustainable food system. We unlock innovation potential in businesses and universities and create and scale agrifood startups to bring new technologies and products to market. We equip entrepreneurs and professionals with the skills needed to transform the food system and put consumers at the heart of our work, helping build trust by reconnecting them to the origins of their food.    

We are one of eight innovation communities established by the European Institute for Innovation & Technology (EIT), an independent EU body set up in 2008 to drive innovation and entrepreneurship across Europe.   

Find out more at or follow us via social media: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram. 

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