Biennial Congress of the SAAFoST

Oct 21, 2019


Nestlé East and Southern Africa (ESAR) participated in the 23rd biennial congress of the SAAFoST (South African Association for Food Science & Technology), which took place at Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre in Johannesburg from 1 – 4 September 2019.

Dr Karen Cooper, Head of Sustainability, Switzerland, shared an address on why we need a transformational change in our food system. She specifically highlighted the 2016 commitment that Nestlé made to tackle the food and nutrition security issues in rural communities from where we source ingredients. She described innovative solutions currently being piloted with farming families in Kenya, Mexico and the Philippines. Overall, we received a positive response from various stakeholders.

Personal profile

Dr Karen Cooper


Karen Cooper has worked for Nestlé for 15 years and currently leads the Nestlé Research Sustainability team. The team develops science, tools and collaborations, whilst embracing food systems thinking, to help drive company sustainability impact. Karen brings together the science of sustainability and nutrition in the context of Nestlé’s purpose and commitments. She has a particular interest in farmer family nutrition security, food loss and waste, and shifting whole diets towards healthier and sustainable choices. She often represents Nestlé externally at scientific congresses in the areas of food and nutrition security as well as acting as an industry stakeholder and contributor to European-funded and global scientific projects on the sustainability of food system.

Karen holds a BSc in Human and Environmental Biology, an MSc in Human Nutrition and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from University of Ulster, as well as a Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business from the University of Cambridge.


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