BioForward is reaching out to members to highlight their organizations through a new member profile feature to tell more of their stories. Kerry agreed to be interviewed as a part of our efforts to heighten the awareness of our region and integrated health solutions approach.

About your organization:

Kerry is a global leader in the development of taste and nutrition solutions for the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical markets. We innovate with our customers to create great tasting products, with improved nutrition and functionality, while ensuring better impact for the planet. From humble beginnings as an Irish dairy co-operative, Kerry has grown into a large international company, with:

•  22,000 employees globally

•  Offices in 31 countries

•  148 manufacturing facilities

•  1,000 food scientists

At Kerry, we are driven to be our customers’ most valued partner, creating a world of sustainable nutrition, and will reach over 2 billion consumers with sustainable nutrition solutions by 2030.

What do you find valuable about being a member of BioForward Wisconsin?

  • Opportunities to network.
  • Keeping up with latest industry developments, regulations, and legislation.
  • Opportunities for learning and professional development.

What are the key areas or achievements by your organization that are impacting the state of Wisconsin and the overall biohealth industry?

  • Our flagship R&D and global innovation centre is based in Beloit, Wisconsin.
  • We have recently opened our fermentation and probiotic technical innovation centers of excellence in Wisconsin. At these state-of-the-art laboratories, we have brought together elite teams of scientists and engineers to create unrivalled technical expertise and capabilities. Our centers of excellence in Wisconsin are also globally connected to Kerry’s scientific teams based all over the World.
  • We are a global leader in food preservation, and we invest significantly in our science and capabilities to identify novel new preservation technologies and in the generation of data to demonstrate their efficacy. 
  • We are members of the Food Research Institute (FRI) at the University Wisconsin Madison. Membership of this organization provides access to other industry experts in microbiology /food safety and quality. FRI works with their industry partners to identify common commercial challenges and leverages their resources and funding to help deliver a resolution.
  • We are a large employer of bioprocess scientists, application specialists. engineers and manufacturing experts in Wisconsin and the Midwest.
  • We form research partnerships with industry leading academia and industry associations in Wisconsin (including the University of Wisconsin) and all over the World.
  • We give back to local communities in the Wisconsin area.

What about the future of research, medical, technological innovation excites you the most?

Kerry is committed to innovation by anticipating and answering global trends. We are always seeking new science to help in creating better products, better processes for a better planet. We are at the forefront of shaping science for healthier food, specifically through our health and wellness portfolios.

We are particularly excited about the opportunity that is presented by precision fermentation and artificial intelligence. There are significant advances happening in this space, where microbiology, engineering, and computer science principles are being applied to address biological challenges. The transformation of the food industry has already started, and examples of applications include where microbial fermentation is being utilized to develop alternative protein and plant-based food.

Why Wisconsin? What does Wisconsin (and/or Madison/Milwaukee) offer for your company and/or your/its families?

  • Provides access to a strong talented local workforce.
  • The “Wisconsin welcome” – we have a lot of employees that relocate from across the country and globe to Wisconsin.
  • The state’s natural resources.
  • It’s long dairy heritage and focus on food science.

What would you recommend about or say to others about Wisconsin’s biohealth industry and research institutions?

The commitment and investment BioForward has made is evident in their initiatives to strengthen the talent pipeline and promote the capabilities of Wisconsin and the surrounding regions on a global scale. 

What is one thing others may not know about your organization?

In 2022, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of our company. Over the past 50 years, we have been on a transformative journey. We began as a small private dairy company in the region of Kerry, in the southwest of Ireland and our first product manufactured was milk protein (casein), produced from Irish grass-fed cows for export to the US. From this, we have grown into the world’s leading taste and nutrition company, becoming our customer’s most valued partner to create a world of sustainable nutrition.

Kerry also offers broad portfolio of technologies for the pharmaceutical industry. Kerry’s global Research & Development (R&D) group for the pharma industry is based in Beloit, Wisconsin with supporting teams located in other locations across North America. Our dedicated pharma Research & Development team are always seeking new science, to help in creating the next breakthrough molecule, which will enhance the lives of many people. Our pharma technologies comprise excipients & coatings: Speciality Cell media supplements and acetates, which are used to create medicines, vaccines and diagnostic assays. The R&D teams work in partnership with our operations and engineering colleagues in the scale up of technologies for plants to ensure consistency and quality performance/yield are achieved.

Looking forward, we see significant growth in the area of functional food, which is being driven by increasing consumer awareness of the long-term benefits of proactive positive nutrition. We see this as the interface between pharma and food, where efficacious functional ingredients are being added to food to provide promising health benefits. As an organization, we are investing significantly in functional health ingredients and in the development of clinical trials to substantiate their efficacy.

There is a wealth of opportunities available in the Wisconsin biohealth industry and the full Biohealth Innovation Territory (BIT). Learn more about careers at our career center.