Laura Payo and Dr Monste Cerrato celebrate 10 years at Pen & Tec 

Posted 02 July, 2021

We are very excited to announce that two of our employees have crossed yet another milestone in the history of Pen & Tec Consulting. It’s been 10 years since Laura Payo Lewis our Regulatory Affairs Director and Dr Montserrat Cerrato Sánchez one of our Senior Regulatory Managers joined the company, and to celebrate this we decided to ask them some questions about how Pen & Tec has changed over the past 10 years – read in our interview!

Q: How has your role evolved during your 10 years at Pen & Tec?

A: Laura: When I joined Pen & Tec in 2011, I started working on mainly EU feed additive registration dossiers, but over time I ended up working on projects involving other regulatory frameworks and geographical areas. I have also had the opportunity to be involved in other areas of the business such as recruitment, business development & contributing to shape the future of the business.

A: Montse: When I joined Pen & Tec I had recently finished my PhD in dairy cow production, and I had some years’ experience in the feed industry but little experience in Regulatory Affairs. However, I was involved from the beginning in projects, so I got “on-hand experience”. Initially I collaborated under supervision in the planning and preparation of dossiers, and a range of routine (but required and essentials) administrative tasks. Now I manage projects from the initial client-brief/idea phase and planning of the regulatory strategy, on to dossier submission and handling of regulatory questions post-submission, helping our clients to get their products to market.

Not only my role has changed; we live in a period of big changes. I remember the times (not so far away) where we could spend one day printing hard copies of a dossier and filing them in binders, carefully organized with labelled separators. Now we can (luckily) submit them electronically, which saves a lot of effort (and paper!).

Q: How has Pen & Tec changed over the last 10 years?

A: Laura: It has been very exciting to see Pen & Tec grow to a six-time larger team over the last 10 years. Over this time, we have established collaborations with partners all around the world, expanded the regulatory services we offer to cover the whole food chain, and taken advantage of technology to improve the way we work and communicate.

A: Montse: When I joined Pen & Tec we were a small team (7 members, including the administrative team). Most of our projects were in the “feed side” (e.g. registration of feed additives, providing advice on classification of feed products and labelling) and in the EU.

Now we have grown to a powerful and collaborative team with knowledge and experience in a variety of fields (animal science, veterinary medicine, chemistry, biochemistry, biotechnology, food technology, human nutrition but also marketing and business development). This has allowed us not only to widening our services (e.g. to the food side and business development) but also to provide regulatory support in other countries (e.g. USA-FDA, Canada, China).

Our administrative team has also grown, so we are “digitally more present”. We help our clients to keep up to date via LinkedIn and Twitter, our newsletter, on-line webinars.

Q: What does the future hold for Pen & Tec?

A: Laura: Pen & Tec will continue helping applicants to successfully register innovative food & feed products in a cost-effective & time-effective way in the EU & in other global leading markets. We will advise on how to face the complexity of food chain legislation in the “post-transparency era” and provide strategic solutions to be sure our clients make the most out of their portfolio. Pen & Tec has many new service lines that we are working on and will be sharing soon so watch this space.

A: Montse: We always aim to provide excellent and professional services to our clients and maintain good relationships; and as a consultancy, we never stop learning. So, I see our clients coming back to work together to maintain their authorizations and/or to get access to market for new products. I see us also growing the services in international markets.

The food and feed industry are very creative and innovative, so I see us even more involved in new food/feed areas as new tendencies arise (e.g. alternative proteins such as cultured meats, ingredients/additives for 3D-printed foods, in-ovo delivery of bioactive substances).

Q: What have you enjoyed most about your time at Pen & Tec?

A: Laura: I have enjoyed  working closely with our fantastic team and being involved in a variety of interesting and challenging regulatory projects – I’m particularly fond of those involving micro-organisms and genetic modifications. I have also really liked attending events, delivering presentations or training courses, which have allowed me to be in touch with clients, EU authorities and keep up to date with all the key regulatory changes.

A: Montse: Pen & Tec “can-do” philosophy and team spirit, its “never stop learning” culture and openness to new ideas. Also working with Dr. Elinor McCartney – she is inspiring, resolutive, positive and always encouraging, and she transmits confidence to clients. I cannot recall a challenge (no matter how difficult it was) where she could not propose a way forward. And working in our multidisciplinary team. Although we spent most of the day working individually, we collaborate when needed, and the team always willing to help one each other and share knowledge.

Laura Payo Lewis, Regulatory Affairs Director

Laura Payo Lewis specialises in both EU food and feed product registrations. She is an experienced regulatory manager, helping numerous clients take their products to market, such as enzymes used as animal digestibility enhancers or as food processing aids. She holds a Master in Biotechnology from the University of Salamanca, and interned in the cell culture quality control department of Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health in 2010.

Laura has delivered seminars on regulations and procedures for registering feed and feed additives in the EU. She also provides training sessions for client regulatory teams on all aspects of the EU registration process, on topics such as understanding data requirements for the risk assessment of food and feed products derived from genetically modified microorganisms. Since joining Pen & Tec in 2011, Laura has acquired a deeper knowledge of the regulatory requirements in other jurisdictions, working on Food Additive Petitions or GRAS determinations (US FDA) or feed additive registrations in Brazil.

Dr Montse Cerrato Sánchez, Senior Regulatory Affairs Manager

Dr Montse Cerrato Sánchez specialises in feed product registrations and feed labelling compliance. She joined Pen & Tec in 2011 and has worked on coccidiostat and probiotic feed additive applications, assisting clients in project management, elaboration of registration dossiers and conducting compliant studies. She also provides advice on all aspects of the feed labelling development process to ensure compliant presentation and advertising of feedstuffs.

Montse has delivered training sessions for client regulatory teams on the EU feed additive registration process and feed labelling legislation. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Veterinary Medicine and a PhD in Animal Production from the Autonomous University of Barcelona.