AFB International

R&D Director Europe (Member EU MT)

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22 jul. 2021

R&D Director Europe (Member EU MT)



Are you able to provide scientific leadership to achieve and drive technological initiatives to discover and develop companion animal palatability that grows the customer’s business goals and profitability objectives?
If yes, working closely together with a team of professionals, customers and other business units, you enable global deployment of these developments and influence an R&D program that will establish AFB as a recognized world leader in technology.

AFB International is the global science and technology leader in petfood palatability. They develop and produce a full range of liquid and dry palatability enhancers using high-quality ingredients proven to optimize companion animal response and consumption. AFB’s vision is driving discoveries to create a world of happier pets. AFB strives to achieve this vision by providing pet food solutions that enrich the relationship between pets and their people.
The scientific approach and advanced technology help petfood producers to maximize performance in an increasingly competitive market. They deliver superior products and services that contribute to the health and wellness of companion animals worldwide.

The company is part of Ensign-Bickford Industries, Inc. (EBI), a privately-owned high technology conglomerate, and has offices and/or production facilities in the USA (global HQ), Europe, Latin America, Mexico, Australia, and China. The location in Europe is based in The Netherlands. In Oss, they have a state-of-the-art high-tech production and research facility for the European market.
AFB’s market position within the pet food palatant market is to provide superior service and support, leading in innovation, products and technology.

Functie omschrijving - R&D Director Europe (Member EU MT)

Responsible for the overall direction, coordination and evaluation of the EU R&D department

  • Directs and coordinates activities of European Research & Development Department, including Product Development, Innovation, Technical Service, Legislation and Kennel.
  • This position will have 5 direct reports, including 1 manager and a total of 11 or more employees.
  • Provides career development, coaching and mentorship for direct reports and junior staff.
  • Provides scientific leadership and coaching, (short term) strategic direction and effective management of scientific and technology initiatives to discover and develop companion animal palatability that improves the customer’s performance and is in support of business unit goals and profitability objectives.
  • Fosters global connectivity and harmonization; collaboration with project management in driving initiatives forward, supporting & promoting connectivity and ensuring R&D functional responsibility/accountability within projects.
  • Works closely with customers to insure effective alignment of product development with their product needs. Supports customer relationship development and is recognized as a creative source of ideas & solutions. Acts as a key influencer to affect customer acceptance of AFB International’s products.
  • Identifies new products and technological opportunities with potential application to the business.
  • Coordinates technology initiatives and projects with universities, government agencies, alliance partners and suppliers in support of strategic company objectives.
  • Develops and supports a communications network that ensures proper exchange of technology and proprietary information both within and outside the company.
  • Manages the intellectual property portfolio.
  • Participates in strategic annual and long-term planning as Member of European Management Team and provides counsel / advice to the European General Manager and dotted lined to the Vice President of R&D in the US.

Functie eisen - R&D Director Europe (Member EU MT)

Innovative technical leader, customer focus and business sense

Job requirements

  • Required: Master’s degree in a scientific discipline inclusive of biology, food science, chemistry or engineering that is applicable in the food production industry.
  • Desired: Ph.D. in a scientific discipline inclusive of biology, chemistry or engineering that is applicable in the food industry.
  • 10 years professional level industry with 5+ years’ experience in a supervisory position and a minimum of 3 years in a senior management position.
  • Demonstrated ability to coach and lead a team of scientists effectively.
  • Experience with both working with customers, new product development & innovation. Desired experience in food product & process development / scale-up, liquid and dry/particulates.
  • Ideally experience in pet food or pet consumer products.
  • Fluent in Dutch and English is required and proficiency in other additional languages would be preferred.


  • Excellent oral and written communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong analytical and organizational skills.
  • Customer and market focus.
  • Accurate and structured.
  • Drive for results.
  • Excellent leadership, teamwork building and people management skills (lead by example).
  • Passionate.
  • Autonomous team player.

Location: Oss, The Netherlands


The company offers an interesting opportunity to contribute to the growth strategy and strong ambitions of an international and innovative ‘niche-player’ with an open and entrepreneurial culture. A professional environment where taking initiative and creativity are highly appreciated. Due to short lines decisions are taken quickly.
Bring your education, expertise, and business experience to AFB International, all of this against a competitive remuneration package.
Given the composition of the current management team preference may be given to a woman in case of equal qualifications.

Interesse in R&D Director Europe (Member EU MT)?

The recruitment for the R&D Director Europe (Member EU MT) has been exclusively outsourced to CeresRecruitment.
For further information, please contact Ajaan Hijmans at telephone number +31 (0)6 53 905 829. You can send your application through our website Comprehensive information regarding the company can be found at en
A personality questionnaire will be part of the recruitment process.

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