John Kerry served as Secretary of State of the United States from 2013 to 2017. During this time, he was a key architect of the 2016 Paris Climate Accord to reduce carbon emissions and instrumental to the United States signing the historic agreement. A United States Senator since 1984, Kerry became Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2009, assuming a leadership role on key foreign policy and national security issues, including climate change.
The humanitarian threat posed by rising global temperatures is an issue Kerry has actively campaigned on since leaving public office. He is currently a Distinguished Fellow for Global Affairs at Yale University as well as the inaugural Visiting Distinguished Statesman for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Secretary John F. Kerry is appearing on Tuesday 3 September, 10:00am-11:00am
Dr Shapiro has spent more than 50 years working in agricultural and agroforestry systems, systems biology, plant breeding, molecular biology and genetics. He led the global effort sequencing, assembling and annotating the Theobroma cacao genome, and initiated the sequencing of the Arachis genome. Shapiro founded the African Orphan Crops Consortium (AOCC) and the African Plant Breeding Academy (AfPBA) in 2011, training mid-career plant breeders to increase the nutritional value of 101 traditional food crops. In October 2017 he launched the Foldit Aflatoxin Puzzle with 460,000 gamers to redesign and improve enzymes to degrade aflatoxins. To date over 1.5 million puzzles have been submitted. In 2018 he co-authored a seminal paper providing proof of nitrogen fixation in maize.
Shapiro’s lifetime of work in plant genetics and the food industry is reflected in his role as Senior Fellow, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at the University of California, Davis, as well as a Distinguished Fellow at the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi and a Scientific Advisor, MIT Media Lab in Cambridge.
A highly regarded world leader in this space, Shapiro is the author of five books, many articles and dozens of interviews. He speaks regularly on the need for innovation in agricultural production and uncommon collaborations.
Dr Howard-Yana Shapiro is appearing on Wednesday 4 September, 9:15am-10:00am
Sunfed founder Shama Sukul Lee, a software engineer turned food technology entrepreneur, is reimagining the food system, starting with meat. Her breakthrough company, which started in New Zealand, uses clean technology to make delectable meat without the animal, with debut product Chicken Free Chicken becoming a runaway success.
Lee’s vision is to create a highly scalable regenerative protein company that can feed the world without doing damage. Lee is conscious that food is the largest market in the world, the foundation of human health and the largest form of energy we consume, with a massive footprint impacting the whole planet. She believes changes in the food system can significantly transform the world: the better the food system, the better the wellbeing of all life. Next up for Sunfed is developing new products, including beef and bacon, along with continuing its expansion out of Australasia to the rest of the world.
Shama Sukul Lee is appearing on Thursday 5 September, 9:15am-10:00am
Chief Operating Officer, Monash Food Innovation Centre
As Chief Operating Officer of Monash Food Innovation (MFI) Centre, Dr Angeline Achariya brings more than 20 years of experience in food service and FMCG to her role, leading a world-first model that encourages food and agrifood businesses to innovate for more sustainable growth.
Since its inception, MFI has supported more than 7,000 food and beverage businesses around the world, taking them from opportunity identification to commercialisation in markets in Australia and Asia. Dr Achariya has held executive roles with blue-chip companies such as Mars, Fonterra, YUM! Brands and Mondelez International. During her career, Dr Achariya has worked on commercialising over 800 innovations in Asian and Australasian markets. She is a firm believer in the possibilities for change through collaboration.
Australia China Business Council Victoria
Virginia Birrell joined the Australia China Business Council Victoria as CEO in August 2014. Her primary responsibilities are to optimise the performance and strategic growth of ACBC Victoria and to ensure member companies are provided with key training, policy advice and strategic networking activities to grow their business opportunities with China.
She created working groups in the key China Australia Free Trade Agreement sectors which are platforms for advocacy and B2B information sharing, and provide rich resources to feed into the branch’s events program, which has welcomed over 15,500 attendees over the last five years. Virginia works closely with the ACBC Victoria Executive Committee, the Branch’s Working Groups, Austrade, DFAT, Federal and State Governments, the China Chamber of Commerce in Australia, the Chinese Consulate and with over 3,000 individuals connected with the Victorian branch.
Chamber of Deputies, Parliament of Italy
Nicola Carè’s achievements are many. Currently a member of the Chamber of Deputies in the Parliament of Italy, he is best known in Australia from his time as CEO and Secretary General of the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a position he held between 1999 and 2018. He was also founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of Voi Tutti magazine, Australia’s leading Italian lifestyle magazine, from 2005 to 2012 and a member of the Community Advisory Committee at SBS television between 2007 and 2010. Carè promotes Italian culture, art and design in Australia and has supported Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney Symphony and Opera Australia over many years. He has also held board and leadership positions throughout his career and is Honorary Professor at the University of Wollongong.
Lecturer, The University of Melbourne
Dr Rachel Carey is a Lecturer in Food Systems in the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences at The University of Melbourne. Her teaching and research focuses on food policy, food security and the governance of sustainable food systems. Dr Carey has a particular interest in how cities are fed and in the resilience and sustainability of city food systems in the context of population growth, climate change, and declining supplies of the natural resources that underpin food production.
The University of Melbourne is among the world’s leading universities and makes distinctive contributions to research, learning and teaching and engagement. It seeks to harness the strength, breadth and depth of its research to help meet significant global challenges.
CEO, Foodbank Australia
Brianna Casey is the CEO of Foodbank Australia, the largest hunger relief organisation in the nation. Foodbank supplies food and groceries to almost 5,000 charities and schools, working with farmers, wholesalers, manufacturers and retailers to source food.
Before joining Foodbank, Casey spent 14 years in agri-politics in NSW and Queensland, serving as Policy Director at NSW Farmers and as Executive Director of Queensland Farmers’ Federation. Casey has served on a number of Ministerial Advisory Councils and committees throughout her career, most recently having played a key role in the development of the Australian Government’s first ever National Food Waste Strategy.
She was recently awarded a Pro Bono Australia Impact 25 award and is also Australia’s representative for the Global Foodbanking Network.
Dr Sandro Demaio trained and worked as a medical doctor at The Alfred Hospital in Australia before going on to promote good health and nutrition through television, festivals and more.
Since 2018 he has been CEO of EAT, the science-based, global platform for food systems transformation, and prior to that, he was Medical Officer for non-communicable conditions and nutrition at the global headquarters of the World Health Organization. He holds both a Master of Public Health and a PhD and completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Harvard Medical School from 2013 to 2015.
Dr Demaio co-hosts weekly TV show Ask the Doctor, an exploratory factual medical series available in Australia and around the world on Netflix; is founder of festival21, a free celebration of community, food, culture and future in Melbourne; and wrote Doctor’s Diet, a cookbook based on science and inspired by a love of good food. Dr Demaio is interested in systems innovation and leadership, public health entrepreneurialism, and solving externality-driven disease.
National Sector Head, FMCG, Colmar Brunton
A passion for stalking supermarket aisles and all things food and wine saw Denise Hamblin trade in neuroscience for consumer science, where she now leads the Consumer Goods division of Colmar Brunton, one of Australia’s largest market research agencies. In her role as the National Sector Head of Consumer Goods, Hamblin leads a large variety of research programs both locally and globally, informed by sensory science, marketing science and qualitative and quantitative techniques and analyses. Hamblin is particularly interested in research that tunes into the evolving preferences of Australian consumers, strongly aligned with Colmar Brunton’s resolve to make a difference.
Nick Hazell is an experienced food innovator, lecturer and consultant who is CEO of Australian startup v2food. v2food is developing plant-based meat, building on a close collaboration with CSIRO to create tasty, sustainable and healthy products. Its first products will be launched nationally in the second half of 2019.
Hazell holds a Master of Manufacturing from Cambridge University. He worked in aerospace and chocolate manufacturing before moving into research and development in the food industry, working at global multinationals in The Netherlands and Australia. He was R&D Director at Masterfoods and at PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand, working on products like Grain Waves, Red Rock Deli, Sunbites and Smiths. He lectures in the Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation at UTS and has consulted to CSIRO and the meat industry.
General Managing Partner, Big Idea Ventures
Andrew Ive founded Big Idea Ventures, a hybrid venture capital firm focused on solving the world’s biggest challenges by working with great entrepreneurs. Big Idea Ventures invests in companies in the alternative protein and plant-based food sectors, with the firm’s first fund being the New Protein Fund.
Ive himself has invested significantly in early-stage and pre-seed food companies. He’s also a business advisor in multiple verticles and is focused on innovation and developing high-growth businesses opportunities. He serves on the Tufts Nutrition Council advisory board, is a Friedman School Entrepreneurship Advisor and a Harvard Business School graduate.
Founder & CEO, The Silk Initiative
Andrew Kuiler is the founder and CEO of The Silk Initiative, China’s only specialised food and beverage insights-driven brand consultancy. Andrew managed a global career in leadership positions at multinational agencies in Shanghai, New York and Sydney before carving his own path with the launch of TSI.
With nearly 20 years’ experience working with major brands including Campbell’s, PepsiCo, Arla, VitaCoco, Goodman Fielder, Pizza Hut, Unilever, US Dairy, and Mars Wrigley, Andrew has a keen understanding of the strategic approach brands need to thrive. His expertise has also led to him being featured in major publications including Entrepreneur magazine and Smart Insights. He is often sought by think-tanks, financial institutions, and government organisations for his insights on the Chinese consumer market and branding.
Founder, Export Connect
Najib Lawand has 25 years’ experience leading Australian food-export businesses and agri-food industry development teams. He is well known for his capabilities in opening up new export markets and has worked extensively in the Middle East, North- and South-East Asia. Since 2010, Najib has worked for NSW Trade and Investment, advising businesses and government on growth in agri-food. In June 2017, Najib founded Export Connect, which uses the skills, connections and expertise he has acquired over the past 25 years to help companies select the right market, connect to the right buyers, and grow. Since June 2017, Najib has delivered over 120 market reports and assessments, covering more than 20 export markets, working with clients including Chobani, Masterfoods, Woolworths, Robert Timms and Birch & Waite.
Director, University of Adelaide
Professor Andy Lowe is a British-Australian scientist and expert in plants and trees, particularly the management and of genetic, biological and ecosystem resources. He has discovered lost forests, championed to eliminate illegally logged timber in global supply chains, served the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and is a lead author of the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.
Professor Lowe has helped secure one-quarter of a billion dollars in research funding in his field and is an experienced and respected executive leader, board member and mid-career mentor. Professor Lowe is inaugural Director of Agrifood and Wine at the University of Adelaide, representing the institution in the food industry and government sector partnerships around Australia and the world. The University of Adelaide has an eminent 130-year history of research and teaching in food, wine and agriculture.
Andy has been the Scientist in Residence at The Australian Financial Review since August 2018.
The University of Adelaide has an eminent 130-year history of research and teaching in food, wine and agriculture.
Australia’s first agricultural college at Roseworthy, established in 1883, is now a University of Adelaide campus renowned for excellence in dryland agriculture, natural resource management and animal health and production.
Our Waite Campus, the modern-day successor to the world-renowned Waite Agricultural Research Institute established in 1924, has contributed to the development of many of the commercially-grown grain varieties in Australia. The Waite Campus is globally recognised for its strengths in plant science, breeding, landscape and soil science, winemaking, viticulture, and food research.
Today, over 250 academic staff across the university are involved in agrifood and wine education and research across the five faculties of Sciences; Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences; Health Sciences; Professions; and Arts.
Global Food Innovation Director, Nestlé
As Nestlé’s Global Innovation Director, Gerardo Mazzeo has been at the forefront of the company’s global innovation activities since 2012, including leading the HENRi@Nestlé open innovation initiative and being responsible for the Digital Acceleration Team (DAT) based at Nestlé HQ. HENRi@Nestlé brings together the world’s largest food and beverage company with innovators and startups to work on cutting-edge projects in product innovation, sustainability, creative brand campaigns and more. Mazzeo has worked at the company for more than 20 years in commercial and marketing roles and has a first-hand understanding of how corporations and startups can complement one another for positive outcomes.
Topic: The future of sustainable supply chains
Tuesday 3 September, 2.30pm-3.30pm
A leader in social enterprise, Jim Mullan has been CEO of food waste charity SecondBite since 2016. SecondBite redistributes surplus fresh food to over 1,300 community agencies around Australia, taking donations from supermarkets, farmers, wholesalers and markets to feed people in need.
Mullan has also been CEO of the United Kingdom edition of The Big Issue, the world’s most widely circulated street newspaper, and Founding General Manager of KibbleWorks, a Scottish social enterprise that provides care and education to young people in need. He has lectured in social enterprise, entrepreneurship and corporate governance, and provided specialist contributions on the economic impact of social enterprise for both the Scottish and UK Governments. Mullan was awarded a distinguished talent visa by the Australian Government in recognition of his work internationally in the field of social enterprise.
Director, Food & Nutrition Australia
Sharon Natoli is founding director of Food & Nutrition Australia, a speaker and an author with 25 years of experience in assisting businesses to adapt to consumer needs. She is passionate about food businesses leading change across the food system in a way that improves the future health of people and the planet. Food & Nutrition Australia provides strategic research, and regulatory and nutrition advisory services to businesses and organisations in the food sector, assisting them to expand their share of voice in the market, grow sales and shareholder return, and re-build consumer trust and loyalty.
Natoli is author of Food for a Better Future, writes a regular blog called Perspectives on the Future of Food, and speaks at conferences and events about what food businesses can do to prepare for a healthier and more sustainable future.
Founder, Food Tank
Danielle Nierenberg is a world-renowned researcher, speaker and advocate on all issues relating to our food system and agriculture. In 2013, she co-founded non-profit organisation Food Tank with Bernard Pollack to offer solutions and environmentally sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty. Food Tank’s Summits are sell-out events across the United States, with plans to expand internationally. The Summits have hosted hundreds of speakers and attracted audiences of thousands, bringing together all sides for critical discussions of food issues.
Nierenberg has a Master of Science in Agriculture, Food, and Environment from the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and spent two years volunteering for the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic. She conducts on-the-ground research, documenting what’s working to help alleviate hunger and poverty while protecting the environment, travelling to more than 70 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. Her knowledge of global agriculture issues has been cited widely in more than 20,000 major print and broadcast outlets worldwide.
Managing Director, Food Innovation Australia Limited
Mirjana Prica has more than 20 years of research and commercial experience in food and agribusiness. Prica is currently Managing Director of Food Innovation Australia Limited, a national organisation established to lead the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre and to drive innovation and market initiatives for Australia.
She is passionate about technology transfer and connecting ideas and devising solutions that benefit businesses. Whilst at George Weston Foods, part of the Associated British Foods Group, she helped establish a global feed ingredients business that is among the top three today. Mirjana has also transformed a testing business that she later went on to manage for the group. Mirjana is a business-science postgraduate from The University of Melbourne and has worked as a senior research scientist and lecturer at Keele University in the United Kingdom. She also spent part of her career as a scientist at CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency.
Matthew Pryor is a partner at AgThentic, a global food and agriculture advisory firm, and co-founder of Tenacious Ventures, an agtech venture capital firm. In 2003 he co-founded Observant, an Australian agtech pioneer established to manage scarce agricultural water in drought-hardened north Western Australia using technology. Observant expanded to provide irrigation solutions for all types of farming operations throughout Australia and globally and was acquired by Jain Irrigation in February 2017. Pryor was the founding chair of Rocket Seeder, a food and agriculture innovation accelerator and is currently chair of the Australian Government Agriculture 4.0 Task Force. He is passionate about promoting Australian agrifood innovation globally.
Adrian Spencer founded Sampano in late 2016 with the goal of building an Australian value chain for the burgeoning vitamins, minerals and supplements industry. Known as the nutraceutical industry, in Australia, this industry relies on $1.1-billion-worth of imported ingredients. Sampano is one of several companies that Spencer has founded since 2006, working with industry to secure over $500 million in funding for innovation and expansion projects all around Australia, including in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors.
Spencer began his career in agriculture in north-east Victoria in 1992, gaining first-hand experience in propagating, growing, harvesting and processing berries, apples and stone fruit for local and export markets. Following this, he worked around Australia as a geoscientist and then a finance and funding expert for multinational companies.
Managing Director, China Skinny
Mark Tanner is managing director of Shanghai-based China Skinny. He has provided China-market growth strategies and research to over 150 brands including such Australian household names as Coles, Woolworths, Tourism Australia, ANZ and Westpac, as well as Colgate, Fonterra, Reckitt Benckiser, IKEA, SAIC Motors, IHG, Sun-Maid Raisins, Business Finland and McCain. His views on China have been quoted in more than 200 international media outlets including Bloomberg, Reuters, FT and Forbes, where he is a columnist. Mark authors the most-read newsletter about marketing to China, and is a regular keynote speaker addressing audiences around the globe.
Leader, Agricultural Value Chains and Food Systems, University of Southern Queensland
Professor Alice Woodhead is a highly experienced strategist and complex systems analyst with an established international reputation for research in global supply chains. She specialises in agriculture and food logistics, and technology systems with a focus on optimising trade, productivity and long-term profitability. Her expertise stretches from regional Australia to global markets and includes organisations of all sizes in both the public and private sector.
With a PhD in agricultural systems and a degree in information systems, Professor Woodhead has had a varied career. She currently leads the University of Southern Queensland’s research services on agricultural value chains and food systems. In addition, she has led research and provided advice to the agricultural, food, mining, energy and construction sectors. She is an OECD fellow and also an advisor to The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (known by its Spanish acronym CIMMYT) in East Africa.
Olympia Yarger is a farmer, CEO, innovator and leader in insect farming in Australia. Yarger founded insect farm Goterra in 2016 to manage food waste and create livestock feed using robotic, modular insect farms. The modular design means these units can be placed on-site at high-volume food waste management locations such as shopping malls, FMCG factories, intensive farming operations or waste transit stations. Goterra is currently located in Canberra, where it manages food waste for hospitals, 400 households, hotels, restaurants, schools and small businesses.
In addition to being CEO of Goterra, Yarger is also the founding Director and Chair of the Insect Protein Association of Australia. In 2018, a species of fly discovered in the Daintree Rainforest was named Hermetia olympiae in honour of Yarger’s work in building the insect farming industry in Australia.