FoodDrinkEurope’s permanent secretariat, based in Brussels, maintains close contacts with European and international institutions and is a major partner in consultations on all issues affecting Europe’s food and drink industry.

The secretariat coordinates the work of more than 700 experts though its Committees and Expert Groups around four themes: food and consumer policy (food safety and science, nutrition and health), environmental sustainability and competitiveness. It is divided into five departments:

Director General

Mella Frewen

Director General

Director General of FoodDrinkEurope since July 2007, Mella Frewen manages the organisation, its various institutions (Board, General Assembly, Liaison Committee etc.) and supervises the work of the different departments. She also represents the organisation both externally and towards its members.

RĂ©gine Mynsberghe

Office Manager

Régine Mynsberghe joined FoodDrinkEurope as Office Manager in May 1992. Her responsibilities are to support the Director General in general management of the organisation, including administration and logistics, specific governance support, accounting and budget, IT and security, HR, and relations with members.

Maryline Crooijmans

PA to the Director General / Assistant of Environmental Sustainability

Maryline Crooijmans joined FoodDrinkEurope in January 2005. She is Personal Assistant to the Director General and provides assistance to the FoodDrinkEurope President and Board Members. Maryline helps organise FoodDrinkEurope's General Assembly, Board, and Liaison Committee meetings. Maryline is also the Assistant to the Environmental Sustainability department and to the Office Manager. 

Daria Kuzmina

Assistant Office Manager / Reception

Daria Kuzmina joined FoodDrinkEurope as Assistant Office Manager in September 2015. Her responsibilities include: reception and call centre, assistance to the Office Manager for administration and logistics, events and travel, and IT issues.

Ekaterina Tsurkan

Assistant Office Manager / Reception

Ekaterina Tsurkan joined FoodDrinkEurope in 2013. Her responsibilities include: reception and call centre, assistance to the Office Manager for administration and logistics, events and travel, and IT issues.


Food Policy, Science and R&D

Rebeca Fernandez

Director, Food Policy, Science and R&D

Rebeca Fernandez joined FoodDrinkEurope in September 2014. She is Director for Food Policy, Science and R&D and deals with food safety and food science related issues as well as relevant R&D projects to FoodDrinkEurope. She is also responsible for the support of the European Technology Platform (ETP) 'Food for Life'.

Angeliki Vlachou

Senior Manager, Food Policy, Science and R&D

Angeliki Vlachou joined FoodDrinkEurope in December 2012 as Food Policy, Science and R&D Manager. She is in charge of food policy and scientific issues in the food and drink sector. She deals with aspects of technical regulations and follows up regulatory developments and projects, particularly in the area of food safety. She also manages and coordinates the internal expert groups of Food Safety Management, Food Ingredients and Nano as well as cross-industry groups on the aforementioned topics.

Jonas Lazaro Mojica

Manager Food Policy, Science and R&D
EU Projects and ETP 'Food for Life' Secretariat

Jonas Lazaro-Mojica joined FoodDrinkEurope in August 2018. He manages European research projects and gives support on food science and R&D issues. He also provides support to the European Technology Platform (ETP) 'Food for Life'.

Alejandro Rodarte

Manager Food Policy, Science and R&D

Alejandro Rodarte joined FoodDrinkEurope in February 2019. Within the Food Policy, Science and R&D team, he monitors the regulatory developments concerning Food and Process Contaminants as well as Food Contact Materials. He also oversees the regulatory developments on Novel Foods and respective expert groups.

Sophie Margetis

Secretary / Assistant, Food Policy, Science and R&D & Consumer Information, Diet and Health

Sophie Margetis joined FoodDrinkEurope in September 1991. She is the Secretary/Assistant of the Food Policy, Science and R&D department, of the Consumer Information, Nutrition & Health department, and also the Secretary/Assistant of European Technology Platform (ETP) 'Food for Life'.

Consumer Information, Diet & Health

Dirk Jacobs

Deputy Director General / Director of Consumer Information, Nutrition & Health

At FoodDrinkEurope since March 2010, Dirk Jacobs is Deputy Director General and Director in charge of Consumer Information, Nutrition and Health issues. As Deputy Director General, he supports the Director General in the general management and external representation of the organisation. Furthermore, he manages and co-ordinates the European food and drink industry’s positions in the areas of consumer information, nutrition and health.


Sara Lamonaca

Senior Manager, Consumer Information

Sara Lamonaca joined FoodDrinkEurope in June 2016. As Senior Manager of Consumer Information, she deals with regulatory and policy issues in the area of food information to consumers, including food labelling.

Economic Affairs

Evelyne Dollet

Director, Economic Affairs

Evelyne Dollet joined FoodDrinkEurope in 1997. In her role as Director of the Economic Affairs department since 2015, she is in charge of economic, competitiveness and supply chain issues of the food and drink industry. She is closely involved in the work of the High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain as well as The Supply Chain Initiative.

Louis Hinzen

Senior Manager, Economic Affairs

Louis Hinzen joined FoodDrinkEurope in 2013. His responsibilities include: trade policy analysis - bilateral & multilateral trade negotiations and agreements, market access issues – tariff and non-tariff barriers, analysis of trade data and food prices, and publication of a quarterly economic bulletin.

Francesca Bignami

Senior Manager, Economic Affairs

Francesca Bignami joined FoodDrinkEurope as Economic Affairs Manager in July 2015. Her responsibilities include: CAP, promotion policy, biofuels policy, derivatives as well as data compilation and economic analysis.

Donata Nickel

Secretary / Assistant, Economic Affairs

Donata Nickel joined FoodDrinkEurope in May 2000. She is the Assistant of the Economic Affairs department and is also responsible for the financial management of EU-funded research projects.


Laura Degallaix

Director, Environmental Sustainability

Laura Degallaix joined FoodDrinkEurope in 2019 as the Environmental Sustainability Director. She is responsible for coordinating the work of FoodDrinkEurope’s Environmental Sustainability Committee and manages the European food and drink industry’s positions in all relevant areas such as: the circular economy, plastics and packaging, sustainable food systems, energy and resource efficiency, and climate change, among others.

Patricia Lopez Blanco

Senior Manager, Environment 

Patricia Lopez joined FoodDrinkEurope as Environmental Affairs Manager in 2013. As Senior Manager of Environment, Circular Economy and Environmental Information, she deals with regulatory issues in the areas of Circular Economy and Environmental Information, amongst other fields.

Lorenzo Ferrucci

Senior Manager, Sustainability 

Lorenzo Ferrucci joined FoodDrinkEurope in September 2013 as Manager dealing with Sustainability issues.


Will Surman

Director, Public Affairs & Communications

Will Surman joined FoodDrinkEurope in 2020. A former journalist, Will has extensive experience in Brussels, having worked in the European Parliament and for the British Agriculture Bureau. In his most recent role, at CropLife International, he was focused on how the agricultural inputs industry could support the Sustainable Development Goals. As Director of Public Affairs & Communication he will support the food and drink industry in its mission to deliver a more sustainable food and drink sector.

Conor Mescall

Senior Manager, Public Affairs

Conor Mescall joined FoodDrinkEurope in February 2015. He is responsible for coordinating FoodDrinkEurope’s engagement with MEPs and advising on a range of sector-specific issues within the European Parliament.

Rafael Sampson

Manager, Public Affairs and Public Relations

Rafael Sampson joined FoodDrinkEurope in September 2019. Supporting the Senior Managers for Public Relations and Public Affairs, he is responsible for communications campaigns, drafting and designing publications, managing social media presence, organising and crafting events, and supporting FoodDrinkEurope's engagement with the European Parliament.