This time, we’re sitting down with Head of Regulatory Affairs Frankie Douglas to talk about everything from her food-focused career to her turn in an all-girl rock band.

Tell us about yourself — what has your career path been to date, and how did it lead you to where you are today?

I’ve spent my whole life working with food. From a young age, I was helping out in family businesses. I didn’t realise at the time that this early experience was setting me up for a life in the food industry!

After school, I completed a degree in Business at the University of Ulster in Belfast while funding my social life by waitressing and bartending. After graduation, I moved to Dublin to start my first proper job, managing key accounts and logistics for a national food distribution company. This role opened my eyes to the level of compliance with regulation imposed on the food sector. I had to make sure the right information was on the labels and support documents going out of the warehouse. Regular changes to legislation would mean that different information was required and this would vary by product type — we managed all of this manually! I was fascinated by regulation and had a strong sense that regulatory requirements could be communicated more effectively to food businesses. I wanted to help, so I headed to college for a four-year BSc in Human Nutrition in UCD. 

I secured a permanent position as Technical Executive in Public Health Nutrition for the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI). In this role, I represented Ireland at European working groups discussing nutrition-related food law, contributed to the development of scientific recommendations for healthy eating guidelines and was the primary researcher involved with the development of MenuCal, a web-based tool created to support small businesses with calorie calculation and allergen management. 

I was presenting my research at a scientific conference in 2015 when I met Damian, the CEO and co-founder of Nutritics. I was immediately drawn to the product and our work had a lot of crossover. We kept in touch, and shortly afterwards I joined the team to head up the scientific and regulatory arm of the business. 

How long have you been part of Nutritics? 

I joined Nutritics at the end of 2016, so I’ve been a part of the team for over six years now. 

What attracted you to the company? 

It really felt like a natural progression for me. I pursued a career with the FSAI because I felt like there was a disconnect between regulators and the industry. Joining Nutritics enabled me to bridge this gap and translate the experience I gained as a regulator back to the industry, ultimately to support compliance with food law in a way that is beneficial to businesses.

What’s your current job title, and what does your role entail?

I’m Head of Regulatory Affairs, leading our integrity and compliance functions. My day-to-day involves ensuring that the various teams across our business are empowered with robust and transparent data, and that our product and communications support our clients to comply with food law.  

What do you like most about your job?

It's diverse and challenging. No two days are the same; I regularly pivot between work areas, which I find really enjoyable. 

What’s your favourite thing about working for Nutritics?

I adore Nutritics — it is truly a fantastic collection of people who share the same values and want to achieve a collective goal. I think my favourite thing is the authenticity I see on a day-to-day basis. The values and culture of the company are real. It's genuinely inspiring and motivating, which is actually quite remarkable.   

How do you define success?

I see success as achieving what I set out to do. Not just in a work-related sense, but having a good work life balance, being happy and enjoying the challenging times as well as the good ones. 

Tell us one thing you’ve learned in the last month — work-related or otherwise?

I recently learned that puppies grow baby teeth that fall out and get replaced with permanent ones. A pup’s baby teeth are called needle teeth, which is fitting considering I learned this fact through getting a needle tooth stuck in my hand! 

What is the best career lesson you’ve learned so far?

To be open minded. We all have biases and preconceived notions about how things should work, but being open to exploring new ways of working or looking at something from another person’s perspective can be hugely beneficial. 

What do you like to do when you're not working?

When I’m not working, I’m spending time with my husband, our daughter and our bulldog. We’ve recently moved to Kilkenny, which is an absolutely gorgeous place. I’m still really enjoying getting to know my way around the city and soaking up the beautiful scenery, culture and history. 

What’s one thing you can’t live without?

Tea.

Where’s your favourite place in the world?

I adore Amsterdam, and I used to visit regularly. We would always try to stay around Rembrandt Square — it's so beautiful there. 

What are the three words that describe you best?

Empathetic, nurturing and fun.

What’s the one food you cannot resist?

If there is a Black Forest gâteau going, I’ll be having it for sure.  

Tell us a fun fact about you that not many people know.

I was the drummer in an all-girl rock band in the 90s — brilliant fun, but unfortunately we didn’t sign any record deals!

 

Interested in working for Nutritics? Check our our Careers page!