Global Speakers


Dr Amy Jennison

Supervising Scientist, Molecular Epidemiology

Queensland Health

Dr Amy Jennison is the Supervising Scientist of Molecular Epidemiology, Public Health Microbiology at the Queensland Department of Health, which is the Queensland reference laboratory responsible for the molecular surveillance of notifiable bacterial pathogens and characterization of public health related outbreaks. She leads her team in the application of whole genome sequencing (WGS) to routine molecular surveillance, and heads numerous research projects aimed at utilizing WGS for improving molecular epidemiological investigation and preventing disease outbreaks. Dr Jennison has a particular interest in addressing surveillance issues caused by culture independent diagnostic testing (CIDT) where molecular testing leads to underculturing of important bacterial pathogens. She is driving research into innovative approaches for deep sequencing on direct specimens including the generation of molecular typing and antimicrobial resistance information.

Topic: Pathogen Detection Based on Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) for Improved Scalability and Accessibility of Food Safety

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Prof Andy Lowe

Director of Food Innovation

University of Adelaide

Prof Andy Lowe is a British-Australian scientist and expert in plants and trees, particularly the monitoring, management and utilization of genetic, biological and ecosystem resources. He has discovered lost forests, championed to eliminate illegally logged timber in global supply chains, served the UN’s Office of Drugs and Crime and has been responsible for securing multi-million dollar research funding. He is an experienced and respected executive leader, as well as mid-career mentor. Andy is the inaugural Director of Food Innovation at the University of Adelaide, serving as the external face for all significant food industry and government sectors across South Australia and the world.

Topic: DNA Barcoding as a Reliable Tool to Track Down Mislabeling and Food Piracy

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Barry McGookin

General Manager, Innovation Capabilities

Food Innovation Australia Limited

Barry McGookin is an innovation manager with 30 years of experience in the food manufacturing industry, and has held senior technical and marketing roles leading national strategies with some of Australia’s largest food manufacturers. In these roles, he has driven successful innovation, cost reduction and value engineering in consumer, food service, private label and export products. Prior to his current role, Barry joined a startup consortium, connecting Victorian food businesses to environmentally beneficial manufacturing solutions. Barry has continued his national focus with roles on the Safe Food and the Health and Nutrition implementation teams, HIA Nutrition and Food Safety advisory committee and he chairs the ARC Dairy Research hub industry advisory committee. Currently, Barry McGookin is the General Manager for Innovation, Capabilities and Skills at Food Innovation Australia Limited, the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre engaging industry with innovation and market access capability. To date, he has supported connections and projects helping companies deliver $40M+ in additional sales to the sector.

Barry will be chairing this forum.

Topic: Improving Food Safety Audit Process with Australian Food & Grocery Council and Food Integrity Management with Supply Chain Integrity

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Blair Keating

Head of Innovation

SPC Ardmona

Beginning his food career over 25 years ago in R&D, Blair Keating learned to apply analytical thinking to develop new products and solve business challenges.  His first product developed was a shredded cooking cheese, built on insights that consumers were looking for natural and stronger-tasting cooking cheese products. 24 years later, the product is still on the shelves today and a staple in our fridge at home.

Blair then turned to project engineering at food and beverage businesses, planning and executing capital programs through rapid and significant supply chain network re-configuration. His team management skills were honed through engineering leadership roles driving cultural change, including responsibility for capital investment programs, asset reliability and delivery of continuous improvement initiatives across multiple food manufacturing sites.

He took on a New Product Development role in the confectionery segment, identifying pathways and strategies to execute major new product launches. He played a leadership role in a business-critical program established to reconfigure the confectionery business to provide a focused portfolio of confectionery products and a centre of excellence supply chain model. This role spanned developing the business case and project management for the implementation of key workstreams.

Joining SPC in 2011, Blair was integral in the $100 million business transformation investment program to secure the future for SPC. The legacy of this investment is a modernized factory with capability ensuring SPC thrives in its 100th year and beyond.

More recently in his current role of Head of Innovation at SPC after having gained experience in a prior Packaging Procurement role, Blair aims to create an environment to facilitate generation of a pipeline of new products that will delight their customers and consumers driving growth today and tomorrow.

Topic: How SPC Ardmona Uses Technology to Ensure Food Safety from Farm to Fork

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Boon Teh

Process Transformation Manager

nbn™ Australia

With an academic background in Engineering & Computer Science and a postgraduate in Electrical & Computer System, Boon Teh is a certified Six Sigma black belt with over 13 years of experience and expertise in optimizing manufacturing and production operation for international business (Intel, Mondelez International & Bega). He is a proven strategic leader who is able to define and implement global centralized policy ensuring achievement of performance benchmarks, optimal product quality and peak efficiencies. He is renowned for turning around under-performing business to drive growth in profitability and stability, resulting in streamlined organization. Boon Teh is well-versed in utilizing Six Sigma and Lean manufacturing methodology to deliver best in class performance, and has demonstrated ability to build organization capability and cultivate lean six sigma culture in organization. A strong team lead who able to train and mentor personnel at all levels of the business, he has successfully trained 100+ yellow belts and 30+ green belts.

Topic: Lean Implementation in Food Manufacturing and Continuous Improvement


Brad Grubb


Inspection Systems

Brad Grubb is a Director of Inspection Systems, a supplier of innovative inspection solutions and equipment to the food and pharmaceutical industry. Technically trained as an electrical mechanic and service technician, Brad founded the company with his business partner Rob Weir back in 1997. Since then, the company has grown considerably servicing many of Australia’s leading manufacturers and food processors, with offices in Australia and New Zealand. Brad has an in-depth understanding of food processing technologies and a strong interest in process automation.

Topic: Raising Food Safety Levels with X-ray Contaminant Detection

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Cathy Moir

Food Safety & Stability Group Leader, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Vice President, Food Safety Information Council

Cathy is a Senior Food Microbiologist and Food Safety and Stability Group Leader with CSIRO Agriculture and Food. Through her various roles at CSIRO, Cathy has developed extensive knowledge and expertise in the microbiology of a wide range of foods and food processes. She provides expert professional services and advice to assist industry and government with matters relating to food safety hazard identification and characterization, risk assessment, and management of the microbiological safety, stability and quality of food.

Cathy is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST). She has contributed to organization and presentations at Australian Food Microbiology Conferences and AIFST Conventions as well as the AIFST Green Book and Gold Book publications. Cathy is also Vice President of the Food Safety Information Council, Australia’s leading disseminator of consumer-targeted food safety information.

Keynote Address: Innovations in Food Safety – Where the Industry is Today and Heading to Next

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Dan Crozier

Managing Director

SKG Biotech in Action

Dan Crozier is the Manager Director at SKG Biotech in Action. With experience in multiple roles as a business specialist, Dan has become a food industry entrepreneur who is dedicated to growing and pursuing the latest innovations in biotechnology. Dan’s innovative thinking and practical approach has resulted in 100% growth of SKG over the past year, ensuring SKG’s strong position in the industry. His leadership has cultivated an environment that encourages creative problem solving, staff empowerment and an openness to change for the development of the business and its clients.

Topic: Phages in the Food Industry

Roundtable: Minimizing Listeria Risk Up to the Point of Consumption



Dene Green

General Manager, International Strategy & Partnership

New Zealand Post

Dene Green is the General Manager of International Strategy and Partnership at New Zealand Post. He leads the strategy for NZ Post’s global commercial services with partners that include Australia Post, Alibaba, Amazon, Yamato Group. Dene is leading a Blockchain program on behalf of NZ Post, covering risk and transparency in the supply chain to manage food fraud within international cross border eCommerce. This is in addition to partnering with AsureQuality and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise for an “in market” risk verification framework for export food producers covering resource, production and supply chain and eventually Blockchain.

Dene is a logistics industry expert with over 25 years’ experience, ten years of which was based in Europe, Middle East and Asia. He has an MBA and authored a Postgraduate thesis (Oxford University 2015) on “Risk and transparency within the Farmgate to Plate Cross Border eCommerce Supply Chain New Zealand to China”. Dene is also a member of the Blockchain Association NZ.

Topic: New Zealand Post Case Study – How HUI Māori Collective Leverage Alibaba’s Blockchain Traceability System for Supply Chain Transparency to Counter Food Fraud

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Felicity Champion

General Manager of Transformation & Integration


Felicity Champion is a change specialist, with 19 years of experience working on large scale change and transformation projects in the public and private sector. She first started working with Fonterra in 2002 and has led the change team for initiatives at manufacturing sites, through to the global sales offices. Felicity current leads the Fonterra Food Safety Quality transformation journey, working with New Zealand staff and the wider global business. Felicity holds a Master in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and has just completed the Michigan State University Master’s paper in Food Safety Culture.

Topic: Fonterra’s Food Safety Culture Journey

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Jacqueline Baptista

Community Programs Manager

Meat & Livestock Australia

Jacqueline is a communications professional with a successful history in issues management, public relations and stakeholders communications. She  holds the position of Community Programs Manager at Meat & Livestock Australia. Her specialties for targeted and effective communications include consumer attitudes and  community leadership.

Topic: How VR has Helped Shape the Food Industry & the Future Ahead

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James Whittaker

Head of Responsible Sourcing & Quality


James Whittaker works as Head of Quality and Responsible Sourcing for Coles Supermarkets based in Melbourne Australia and has been with Coles for 6 years. James’s role is to lead Cole’s strategy for product quality, safety, sustainability, animal welfare and nutrition. James has shaped Coles’ approach to food safety and supplier management, and delivered some key programs for Coles. James has most recently focused on leading sustainability and animal welfare strategies including seafood sustainability and removal of over 2 billion single-use plastic bags.

Prior to joining Coles, James worked in the United States for 6 years where he led product safety, quality and responsible sourcing for Tesco’s US startup business, Fresh and Easy Neighbourhood Markets. During this time, James was involved in setting up three manufacturing facilities dedicated to supplying own brand products to the retail stores.

James started his career working in animal welfare and food safety for Europe’s largest beef exporter during the BSE crisis. James is from the UK and has worked in leadership positions for food manufacturing, packaging and retail businesses. James holds a Master of Science in Meat Science from Bristol University School of Veterinary Sciences and is married with 2 children.

Topic: Coles Case Study – Real-Time Tracking and Remote Monitoring of Food Supply Chain with IoT Sensors, Cloud and Real-Time Temperature Monitoring



Jerry Castellanos

Global Traceability Lead


Jerry Castellanos has been with the Fonterra for 22 years. He began his career in Guatemala as a systems analyst in 1996 where he spent 18 years in various markets, in regional and global IT roles. Jerry moved to New Zealand in 2003 to join the multi-year program that transformed the transactional systems, which power Fonterra today.  In 2013, he joined the Group’s Food Safety & Quality team where he leads the global transformation program delivering Fonterra’s commitment to total electronic product traceability.

Jerry holds an Information Systems Engineering degree from Guatemala’s Universidad Francisco Marroquin and has an MBA from the University of Auckland School of Management.

Topic: Fonterra Case Study – Traceability From Farm to Fork

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John Houston


YPB Group

John Houston is the Founder of YPB Group and serves as its CEO and Executive Chairman. Prior to founding YPB Group, John served as the President of DOCOMO interTouch and served as its CEO from January 2004. He served as the COO of Orange SA/AG in Switzerland and launched Orange Thailand as its COO.

John has clocked up over 25 years in international business and his career has taken him from his native Australia to expatriate posts as a senior executive and board member for public and private enterprises in New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Switzerland and Singapore. His experience has ranged from building a US$2 billion mobile phone startup for Orange Telecommunications in Thailand, to running a US$350 million EBITDA telco business in Switzerland, to selling an international broadband company for a 70x multiple of EBITDA, to Chairman roles in several companies and organizations.

John is an experienced operational executive, board member, Chairman, company founder and investor with over 10 years of experience in building and selling businesses in Asia. He has been an Executive Chairman and Director of YPB Group Ltd since 31 July 2014.

Topic: Combating Counterfeits & Packaging Reuse When Exporting to Asia

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Lubna Edwards

Global Sustainability Director

Klöckner Pentaplast

With over twenty years of experience in sustainability leadership, Lubna Edwards is responsible for driving sustainability within Klöckner Pentaplast, collaborating with the value chain, industry associations, governments, recyclers and other key stakeholders to address global challenges. Sustainability challenges include food waste reduction, resource conservation, carbon mitigation, use of sustainable materials and recycling, and designing for a circular economy. Lubna has held similar roles at the Sealed Air Corporation and Diversey, with a focus on how sustainability can meet societal, environmental and market needs.

Topic: How to Build a Sustainable Future Using the Valuable Benefits of Plastics Responsibly

Roundtable: Plastics Packaging and Marine Litter Challenges and Solutions in Australasia

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Luciana Fumeo

Quality Assurance Manager

Coca Cola Amatil

Luciana Fumeo, a Food Technologist, worked in different areas of food technology in Argentina before she migrated to New Zealand in 2007. She then joined Coca Cola Amatil‘s Auckland Carbonated Soft Drink facility as Quality Technologist and that was when her passion for Quality and Food Safety begun. In 2010, she moved to CHCH and worked for Alto Packaging initially as a Quality Coordinator and later as Quality, Safety and Environment Manager. The earthquakes in Christchurch brought her back to Auckland and in 2013 she rejoined Coca Cola Amatil as a Quality Assurance Manager. She is the Food Safety Team Leader and works close to all staff to continuously improve the Food Safety Culture and maintain Coca Cola Amatil’s high level of food safety certification.

Topic: Coca Cola Amatil Case Study – Food Safety Culture Through Innovation & Processing Technologies

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Martin Ross

Group Commercial Director

YPB Group

Prior to joining YPB, Martin Ross specialized in HNW Real Estate, holding the national record in 2015 and 2016 for the highest sales volume, ranging north of 40M and 50M. To date, Martin also holds a number of suburb sales records. In 2018, Martin joined YPB in an official capacity after being a shareholder since the company’s IPO in 2014. Martin is YPB’s Group Commercial Director and is based in Sydney.

Roundtable: Using Authentication to Engage with Customers at the Point of Sales and Beyond



Michael Lee

High Value Food Frontiers Manager

Meat & Livestock Australia

Michael Lee comes from a food technology background with 22 years’ experience across the meat supply chain. Michael completed his post graduate research in new packaging formats and business models for fresh and cooked meats. Since 2012, Michael has been with MLA working on off-farm demand building research and development and innovation capability development programs to create and capture value for industry. Michael’s key focus is envisaging foods for tomorrow’s consumer, which includes investigating emerging packaging trends, developing networks of strategic research providers and partnering with industry to develop and commercialize new red meat solutions.

Topic: Active Packaging with Sensor Technology can Control and Monitor Moisture, Temperature and Oxygen to Preserve Food Color and Texture, and Extend Shelf Life

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Nick Stanford

Head of Solution Engineering (Meat Process Technology)

Scott Automation

Nick Stanford is responsible for sales, development and commercialization for the agri food sector within Scott Automation and Robotics. Nick’s focus is primarily on meat processing pursuing opportunities where Scott can bring value to the sector through partnerships and collaboration for the development of automated solutions. This involves integrating Scott’s extensive knowledge and expertise in machine design, machine vision, robotics, electrical, programming and service with a strong understanding of food processing fundamentals.

Nick has been actively involved in developing meat processing technology for over a decade and first became involved with Scott when developing the patented LEAP technology which is now recognized as world leading in the field. Nick has over 15 years’ experience in working with automated machinery for Scott, and has worked with many of the large processing brands both in Australia and abroad to develop innovative solutions to increase their bottom line.

Topic: Robotics in Food Production, Packaging, Automation and Safety

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Rob Langford

Quality & Compliance Manager

Pernod Ricard Winemakers

With expertise spanning 35 years in a variety of Operational Quality and Systems roles, Rob Langford’s passion is improving systems and processes that implement innovative technology to safeguard product traceability and uphold leading industry standards. Rob continuously strives to work with sustainability in mind and chairs two Packaging Forums. He has a strong focus on increasing packaging recovery for reuse to reduce waste to landfill and safeguard the environment for future generations.

His qualifications in Science alongside Operations Management, Occupational Health & Safety and a wealth of experience in the Manufacturing, Transportation, Logistics and Winemaking industries has made Rob one of New Zealand’s leading experts in his field.

Rob brings this same passion to utilize innovative technology to simplify process and increase business process control. In his current role at Pernod Ricard Winemakers, the world’s second largest wine distributors, Rob was instrumental in developing and implementing systems to trace packaged material from grape to wine customers enjoy in their glass today.

Topic: Pernod Ricard Case Study – Leveraging on Serialization to Counter Food Fraud

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Rupert Colchester

Head of Blockchain


Rupert is the IBM lead for Blockchain in Australia and New Zealand. He works with government and businesses across all industries – including ecosystem partners and start-ups – in driving business and industry transformation using blockchain.

Rupert spent 10 years working for IBM in the UK in both technical and sales roles, before starting IBM’s Blockchain business in the UK. His consulting and technical delivery engagements since have spanned a wide variety of use cases – from proof of concepts through to production implementations.

He has a degree in AI and Computer Science from University of Edinburgh.

Topic: Building a Blockchain-Based Ecosystem to Transform our Food Supply Chains in Australia with IBM Food Trust™

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Prof Sandra Kentish

Head of School of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering

University of Melbourne

Professor Sandra Kentish is Head of the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering at The University of Melbourne. She has broad interests in industrial separations, particularly the use of membrane technology for energy, food and water applications. She has been working with the dairy industry on membrane separations research for over a decade. She was the Discipline Leader in the CRC for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) for Membrane Technology from 2003-2015 and a member of the Research Advisory Committee for the National Centre of Excellence in Desalination from 2010-2016. Professor Kentish was selected as one of Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers by Engineers Australia in 2017. She has also been awarded the Grimwade Prize in Industrial Chemistry and the Caltex Teaching Award of Excellence for Training of Chemical Engineers in Australasia.

Roundtable: Membrane Processing


Sean Starling

General Manager for Research, Development & Innovation

Meat & Livestock Australia

Sean Starling is the General Manager for Research, Development and Innovation. A member of Meat & Livestock Australia’s executive team, Sean is responsible for MLA’s $170 million annual R&D investment across the Australian red meat industry value chain. Sean has worked in a range of organizations and positions from factory engineer to general manager in manufacturing, R&D and engineering organizations, and this underpins Sean’s ability to work with business and scientific thinkers to facilitate delivery of their concepts into commercial reality. In addition to ensuring no good opportunity is wasted, Sean has a passion in supporting young people to strive and deliver in an ever-changing and complex environment.

Topic: Smart Packaging Monitors Food Condition and Environment for Shelf-Life Extension and Product Attribute Enhancement

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Steven Hather


The Recall Institute

Steven Hather is a Director of The Recall Institute with an expertise and achievement in designing, developing and implementing risk, product recall and crisis management programs, specializing in the food & beverage and consumer goods sectors. He has successfully managed numerous complex product recalls, malicious product tampering extortions and accidental contamination cases globally, to minimize impact and protect organizational brand reputation. Steven has worked with large organizations including the Foster’s Group, LION, Murray Goulburn, Coles, Kmart, McPhersons Consumer Products, Bunnings, The Coca-Cola Company, George Weston Foods, Goodman Fielder, Kellogg and Treasury Wine Estates. He is co-author of the International & Australian Standards for Product Recall and the International Standard for Product Safety, and was integrally involved in the development of the US Standard for Organizational Resilience.

Pre-Forum Workshop: Food Recalls and Crisis Management

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Trudy Sharpe

Food Safety & Quality Improvement Lead, ANZ

Kraft Heinz

Throughout Trudy Sharpe’s work history, she has gained a wide range of knowledge and skills in a variety of industries. Her main experience lies in engineering; process improvement, project management, design, 2D & 3D modeling, electrical and automation of multi-disciplinary projects, leadership/management of diverse teams. She is passionate about improving things and adding value through innovation and efficiency.

Topic: Kraft Heinz Case Study – Continuous Improvement in Food Safety & Quality

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