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NZIFST - The New Zealand Institute of Food Science & Technology
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Annual Conference


Tony Egan
Managing Director, Greenlea Premier Meats Limited

This family-owned business has a turnover of $300 million, 460 staff and processes over 230,000 cattle and 109,000 calves per year. Tony’s previous roles include CEO for AsureQuality for five years, the largest quality assurance organisation in New Zealand; CEO for AFFCO NZ Ltd for five years, a major meat processing company and Managing Director [Marketing and Finance] for Greenlea Premier Meats Ltd for eight years. In addition to these management roles, Tony has taken on a number of Directorships at both industry and international business levels and has represented New Zealand at a number of international forums.

Mark Piper
Director of Category, Strategy and Innovation, Fonterra

As Director for Category, Strategy & Innovation for Fonterra, Mark oversees innovation platforms globally and Fonterra’s overarching strategy. He has been in the dairy industry for 29 years and has held roles across manufacturing, IT, and Supply Chain before moving to Tokyo for 3 years to manage technical engagement with customers and then a further 5 years in Chicago where he was Regional Director for North America overseeing around $1.8b of activity across multiple countries and customers. Mark returned to NZ in 2016 and has been based in Palmerston North leading innovation since 2017. Mark also sits on the Board of Sprout Agritech and is Chair of Food HQ.

Craig Armstrong
Director (Customers), New Zealand Trade & Enterprise

Craig helps New Zealand businesses grow into and in international markets.
  He leads teams working with businesses primarily in the biological economy (food, ingredients, beverages) or who supply associated high tech to that value chain. He has Board and Executive experience with Lion, Cadbury, Hunterskil Howard, CPLG, Yoplait, Snapple and Heinz and has founded and exited start-ups. Craig is Chair of the Industry Advisory Panel of the High Value Nutrition National Science Challenge to develop scientifically-proven health foods; and is on the Advisory Board of the NZ Product Accelerator, assisting businesses commercialise new designs and manufacturing methods. Craig is also a member of the MBIE College of Assessors, and Governance Member of the NZ Food Awards. He is a graduate of Massey University (NZ), of Thunderbird School of Global Management (USA) and of the Leadership Development Centre (Wellington).


Donna Purdue
Chief Economist, MBIE

Donna has been the Chief Economist at the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) since 2016. In her role, she is responsible for leading the thinking on the economic frameworks used to underpin MBIE’s policy analysis, leading and shaping the direction of MBIE’s strategic research programme, and providing monitoring and analysis of key economic trends and their implications for policy advice and regulatory stewardship. Donna has a Bachelor of Social Science with First Class Honours in Economics from Waikato University. Throughout her career she has worked in both the private and public sectors providing practical economic insights to businesses, investors and government to support their decision-making.

Jodie Kuntzsch
Chief Action Officer, Businesses for Climate Action

With a background in New Zealand’s primary industries and the global seafood industry, Jodie joined BCA with a wealth of experience in understanding the intricacies of businesses, particularly the complexity and diversity businesses face through a changing climate. She now brings her unique focus on building commercial collaborations to solve environmental and social challenges to the Te Tauihi business community.

  Alex Worker
Future Food Aotearoa

Alex is a New Zealander with an international background in food, startups, and agriculture. He is the Managing Director of Highground Brands, an APAC-focused strategic foods agency and also Chair of Future Food Aotearoa, a founders movement driving advancement in New Zealand's food-tech ecosystem. He is working with Impossible Foods across APAC, plus has over 10 years corporate management experience with Fonterra. Born in Hong Kong, he lived in Asia for fifteen years, building early-stage ventures and advising a number of food companies and e-commerce channels. He is a member of Class 15 at THNK Amsterdam and previously completed an MBA at Tsinghua University-MIT on Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. He helped found the New Zealand Business Roundtable in China, was a Global Shaper at the World Economic Forum, and is a mentor in the Asia:NZ Leadership Network.

  Brendan Haigh
General Manager Innovation, Miraka Limited

For the last 4+ years Brendan has led the development and delivery of Miraka’s innovation strategy, including new product development for their brands business (Taupo Pure). Brendan has a deep background as a scientist, earning his PhD in molecular biology, then completing PostDoc Research at the University of British Columbia where he was part of a team developing therapeutics for Huntington’s disease. He returned to New Zealand to work with AgResearch in Dairy Foods, including development of new R&D innovation projects and programmes with AgResearch’s commercial customers.

Vincent Arbuckle
Deputy Director-General New Zealand Food Safety

Vincent joined the Ministry for Primary Industries in November 2018 and currently leads New Zealand Food Safety. Prior to this, he was Deputy Director-General Compliance and Governance, and held senior roles in Corrections, the New Zealand Fire Service, and AXA New Zealand.


Professor Palatasa (Tasa) Havea ONZM,
Dean Pacific in the new Office of Pasifika Student Success at Massey University.

Before joining Massey, Tasa was Principal Research Scientist at Fonterra’s Research and Development Centre. 
Originally from Tonga, Tasa's 22-year research career began when he studied a food technology degree at Massey University. His research has been published widely in international scientific journals and he has presented at numerous international scientific conferences. He has supervised a large number of postgraduate research students. Tasa has a distinguished record of leadership in the Pacific community, serving on a range of boards, committees and reference groups. A strong advocate for encouraging Pacific students into science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, he is part of the Reference Group at the Ministry of Social Development developing new strategy, is Deputy Chair of the Pacific Education Foundation Board at the Tertiary Education Commission and chairs the Amanaki STEM Academy Board.

Mavis Mullins MNZM
Business Woman

"Better options, better opportunities, better outcomes. It’s not about me, it’s about how we make a better footprint for the generations that are coming. How we make NZ Inc, or New Zealand Aotearoa a place that has meaning and relevance in a global context. I love that kind of thinking!"

Mavis Mullins has a long list of accolades to her name, a long history in agri-business and an MBA from Massey University. She has over 20 years’ experience in governance in public and private enterprises and is a well-known and respected leader within the wool and agribusiness sectors and on the international business stage. Since the late 1990s, when she was appointed to the board of Landcorp (a role she held for seven years), Mavis has also been a member of the Mid-Central and Wairarapa District Health Boards and the Massey University Council. Her governance roles have included 2degrees Mobile and Aohanga Incorporation, Atihau Whanganui Incorporation, Poutama Trust, Rangitane Tu Mai Ra and Taratahi.


Ian Proudfoot
Global Head of Agribusiness, Partner - Audit, KPMG in New Zealand

Ian Proudfoot joined KPMG in the London office in 1992, moving to New Zealand and the KPMG office in Auckland in 1996. Ian was admitted to partnership in 2004 and appointed as Global Head of Agribusiness for KPMG in 2013, leading a network of KPMG Professionals that now spans over 50 countries. Ian has a BSc (Hons) Industrial Economics from the University of Warwick, UK. Ian has provided audit and advisory services to a wide range of clients. Ian’s clients in the primary sector currently include businesses in the dairy, red meat, fishing, horticulture and viticulture sectors. Ian is considered to be one of the leading strategic thinkers on Agribusiness in New Zealand. He presents around the world on the future of food productions, processing and consumption articulating a vision for a food system that delivers sufficient nutrition to the world in a sustainable manner through the utilisation of disruptive innovations that fuse biological, digital and physical technologies together into new models for food producers. He is the lead author of the award-winning KPMG Agribusiness Agenda publications which have been published annually since 2010.


Closing plenary wrap–up: Professor Richard Archer

Past–President of NZIFST, Richard Archer is the Logan Campbell Professor of Food Technology in the School of Food and Advanced Technology at Massey University and is also a Fellow of the Riddet Institute.
After four years in deer by-product processing industry, then nineteen in the dairy processing industry, Richard returned to Massey University in 2004 to head Engineering, and then the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health.  Richard is now Director of the FoodPILOT and serves on several advisory boards.  He was Chief Technologist of the recently completed MBIE-funded FIET programme on food process engineering and leads a number of smaller projects and programmes.


Conference Chair:
Rob Archibald

General Enquiries / Trade & Sponsorship:
Rosemary Hancock
Phone: 06 356 1686



The New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology (Inc.)

PO Box 44322
Pt Chevalier
Auckland 1022

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