Renetta Cooper Championing Women in Food Science

Celebrating International Women’s Day with a Focus on Food Waste Reduction

In recognition of International Women’s Day, we take a moment to honor the exceptional contributions of female scientists within Kerry. Among them is Renetta Cooper, the Business Development Director for Food Protection and Preservation. Renetta’s journey in the field of science has been both inspiring and impactful, fueled by her passion to combat food waste.

Renetta’s Role at Kerry

Drawing from her extensive background as a microbiologist, Renetta plays a crucial role in helping Kerry’s customers preserve food and beverage products. Her primary objective is to extend shelf life and reduce food waste through innovative scientific solutions. Renetta emphasizes the importance of her technical expertise in enabling both account managers and customers to comprehend the significance of food preservation products in delivering sustainable nutrition.

Her Career Trajectory

Renetta’s illustrious career spans over three decades within the food industry, commencing with her pursuit of a degree in microbiology. Beginning her journey in Research and Development (R&D), Renetta focused on harnessing the potential of ‘good’ bacteria to enhance food products. Her pioneering work included the development of probiotics for yogurt and the creation of clean label products aimed at curbing the growth of harmful bacteria.

Branching out into roles encompassing product management, marketing, and sales, Renetta garnered invaluable experience in setting market strategy and forging partnerships with customers. Joining Kerry over a decade ago, she brought with her a wealth of knowledge, contributing significantly to the company’s growth and success.

Early Passion for Science

Renetta’s fascination with science blossomed during her junior high school years when she embarked on an experiment with classmates, analyzing bacteria in locker room shower drains. This early experience ignited her passion for scientific inquiry and set her on a trajectory towards a rewarding career in science.

Current Endeavors and Achievements

Renetta’s recent involvement in Kerry’s acquisition of Niacet, the largest in the company’s history, highlights her instrumental role in solidifying Kerry’s position as a global leader in food preservation and protection. This acquisition has not only expanded Kerry’s business but also provided additional resources for research and development, facilitating innovation to address unmet market needs.

Overcoming Challenges as a Woman in Science

Throughout her career, Renetta has encountered and surmounted various barriers as a woman in science. While acknowledging improvements, she remains cognizant of persisting challenges, including disparities in pay and female leadership roles. Renetta emphasizes the importance of mentorship in supporting women’s career advancement, advocating for diversity and inclusivity within the industry.

Guidance for Women in Science

Renetta encourages aspiring women scientists to assess potential employers’ commitment to gender diversity and inclusivity. She underscores the significance of nurturing a deep passion for one’s work, advocating for continuous learning and engagement with advancements in the field.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, Renetta’s story serves as a testament to the resilience, dedication, and invaluable contributions of women in science, inspiring future generations to pursue their passions fearlessly and make a difference in the world.

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