Marjolein de Koning

EU Chocolate & Global Licensing Quality Lead, Mondelez International

1. Why did you choose a career in food safety and quality?

Food safety and quality is a function which continuously evolves and is never boring. I like to find new opportunities and co-create new ideas with the business and consumers to bring the safest and highest quality food products to the market; consumers care about food like their own health in an always changing environment.

2. What are the main responsibilities in your role?

My main responsibilities are to lead, explain, recognize and deliver food safety and quality within the Mondelez Chocolate and Licensing categories. My aim is to have all the functions of a strong quality culture.

3. What are your three biggest challenges on a daily basis?

Challenges are mainly focused on: 
- Coordination across the entire supply chain.
- To communicate and audit our standards to our external manufacturers and suppliers. They don’t always have the same level of quality in place when we start working with them, so I must spend quite a bit of time explaining and training people.
- Also, proactive quality is difficult to measure, like finding the right KPIs can sometimes be a challenge.

4. How you envisage the role of food safety and Quality changing in the next 5 years?

Food safety and quality is becoming more complex due to new technologies, innovations, inventions, globalization, demanding consumers and customers. I envisage the food safety and quality role will broaden it’s horizon by looking outside their own business and bringing the external in (consumers/customers/third parties). People working in this role need to be a true leader and be able to confidently and consistently implement the quality strategy. However, they should also be able to adjust quickly where needed and learn from others’ and their mistakes.

5. In your opinion what are the three most crucial factors when considering Food Q&A?

1) Safe food, meeting regulations and laws with the highest quality
2) Data, technologies, innovation which supports the above
3) Strong and flexible leadership