NatureSweet® Tomatoes appointed seasoned consumer R&D and product strategy executive Martin C. Ruebelt, Ph.D., to its newly created position of chief scientific officer.
The newly created position demonstrates NatureSweet’s commitment to step up both investments and partnerships in leading science fields. “Dramatically increasing the focus on science, at a time where innovation is speeding up in areas well beyond what has been our historical strength, is not only about a commitment to continue our work in flavor but also about leading the industry on how to get the superior flavor in a way that furthers our ESG platform,” said NatureSweet president and CEO Rodolfo Spielmann.
The new chief scientific officer role will act as an advisor to both the CEO and the head of R&D/quality, on top of leading the development of the Innovation Center that NatureSweet is committed to create in the United States. “Martin brings not only an incredible depth of technical experience to his role but also a vision on how science can serve the consumer and leadership abilities seldom seen in the industry,” said Spielmann. “He is extremely well-suited to help guide NatureSweet through all the technological innovation available to us, focusing on pro-actively connecting with academia, seed breeders, start-ups, and ag-tech companies as a way to bridge NatureSweet’s purpose of transforming the lives of agricultural workers with transformative innovation.”
An accomplished scientific leader with a PhD in Food&Biochemistry from the Technical University of Munich, Dr. Ruebelt brings 20+ years of ag industry experience. He has an outstanding technical and leadership track record with companies such as Sensei Ag, where he was the senior vice-president & consumer traits & product strategy lead, as well as Bayer Crop Science as its previous head of global consumer R&D for vegetables. He was also a Bayer Science Fellow, where he led a team that provided product and consumer insights, sensory and phenotyping support to improve and launch fruits and vegetables the consumer craves. Before that, Dr. Ruebelt had an 18-year career at Monsanto, spanning multiple roles. "I can’t imagine a more exciting time to join NatureSweet,” Ruebelt said. “I believe the growth potential is tremendous, given the smart and passionate people at NatureSweet who are committed to making a difference in the world, along with the strong product portfolio and openness for innovation.”