Innovation & Development Manager (Leiter Innovation & Entwicklung)

Date: 2 Feb 2024

Location: Neukirchen-Vluyn, DE, 47506

Company: Ornua Co-operative Limited


JOB TITLE:          Innovation and Development Manager  (Leiter Innovation & Entwicklung) 
REPORTS TO:     R&D Director, Global Foods (dotted into local Marketing Team)
Location:              Neukirchen Vluyn, Germany


Company Background

Ornua is a dairy co-operative which sells dairy products on behalf of its members, Ireland’s dairy processors and, in turn, Irish dairy farmers. It is Ireland’s largest exporter of Irish dairy products, exporting to 110 countries worldwide. Headquartered in Dublin, Ornua has annualised sales of over €3.5 billion and a global team of 3,000 employees.


Ornua is structured across two divisions: Ornua Foods and Ornua Ingredients. We operate from 10 business units worldwide, including 16 production facilities, and have sales and marketing teams working in-market across the globe in Africa, Asia, Germany, Ireland, the Middle East, Spain, the UK, and the US.


You may know us by our brands Kerrygold, Dubliner, Pilgrim’s Choice, Avantage, Forto, and BEO.


Ornua’s Values

At Ornua, our Values lie at the core of everything that we do and how we behave both individually and as a business. Our five values, and their underlying behaviours, encourage us to Seek and Embrace New Ideas, Make It Happen, Be Our True Selves, Show You Care and Achieve Great Things Together.


Ornua’s Growth

At Ornua, our co-operative ethos lies at the heart of how we do business. We care passionately about driving sustainable, profitable growth, underpinned by our ambitious ‘Path to Prosper’ strategy. We have delivered significant growth in our core business and we have ambitious plans for continued growth over the next five years.

Working within the Global Brands R&D Innovation team, this role is responsible for managing Ornua Foods Germany Product & Process Innovation, both in core and new categories. 
You’ll have experience delivering flawless consumer-centric Innovation to market, and in close partnership with the Dublin based Innovation team deliver successful product, process and packaging solutions whilst optimising cost, maximising quality, and minimizing environmental impact to ensure we meet and exceed our sustainability targets.


As Ornua Germany Innovation and Development Manager  (Leiter Innovation & Entwicklung) you will be responsible for to deliver the Germany product and technology vision and the innovation roadmap against the ambitious 5-year growth plan. 


Serve as the technical and creative leader of all Ornua Germany product & process  innovation, while managing effective communication and coordination between local Marketing & Brand Innovation, and Operations along with Global R&D Foods team and other internal departments, Functions, teams and external resources; as well as building strong collaboration networks with the Global Brands team. 


•    Keep abreast with new product and process technologies, production techniques and competitors to ensure the business is providing key market & consumer requirements.
•    Bring a science & technology, consumer & category insights and foresights thinking approach to product and process development.
•    Initiate, investigate and implement sustainability from the start best in class practices through formulations, process, technologies, ingredients; working in close partnership with Ornua         Sustainability team, Supply Chain, Ops, Global Procurement and Finance teams.
•    Ensure that all new product trends and technologies are monitored, maintaining awareness of competitor and other category activity, advising key stakeholders as appropriate.
•    Direct the development and execution of both short and long-term research and development plans.
•    Leverages the Global Innovation team which includes product development, process engineering, process engineering, packaging development and sensory.
•    Utilize Innovation and Technology infrastructure in Ornua and with our local/overseas partners.
•    Work cross-functionally with Marketing, Innovation, Sales, Finance and Operations to ensure an innovative and continuous pipeline of new products that delight the customer and the         consumer and are a major contributor to the company’s growth.
•    Assess and implement new technologies and ingredients resulting from both in-house exploratory research and through partnering with key vendors, academics, and public research.
•    Connect internal partners across R&D technology platforms and the enterprise with external R&D groups to find optimal solutions to address customer-driven opportunities.
•    Lead Knowledge Management & Competitive Intelligence activities for technology activities
•    Key member of the local and Global Innovation Steering Committee

Productivity/Value Engineering
•    Initiate, investigate and implement significant new formulations, process improvements and cost savings projects, through formulations, process, technologies, ingredients etc working         in close partnership with Marketing, Supply Chain, Ops, Global Procurement and Finance teams.

Technical Brand Stewardship/Modifications/renovations
•    Initiate, investigate and ensure regulatory and labelling compliance for the entire product portfolio, working in close partnership with Ornua Technical Services, Legal and regulatory             teams.



•    Be able to drive results through clear communication and seasoned influencing skills.
•    Serve as technical consultant to all operating units of the company across the globe on formulation / processing issues on assigned projects / products.
•    Builds relationships with key industry influencers and customers while anticipating future needs.
•    Supports the development of medium and long-range strategic plans for the R&D function.
•    Prepares and manages an annual operating budget that supports BU objectives.
•    Experience working in a matrixed, global team and working across cultures and geographies.
•    Product, packaging & process development experience with tangible examples of cost optimisation, enhancing quality and ensuring sustainability.
•    Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously whilst being able to inspire change, efficiencies and continuous improvement within a commercial environment.
•    Commercial awareness of how Innovation contributes to customer experience and purchase decision making.
•    Very good German language skills
•    Very good communication skills (German and English)


•    Curious & Forward Looking: Exhibits consumer-centric creative thinking to help win in the category; responds positively to changes and looks ahead to anticipate tasks.
•    Ownership – takes responsibility for results; clarifies accountabilities, overlaps, and gaps.
•    Working Together – is supportive & co-operative, encourages & supports cross-functional working.
•    Communicative – communicates confidently, adapting style for different situations.

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