Global Speakers


Anita Lee

Senior Commercial Manager

Marine Stewardship Council

Senior Commercial Manager for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) – an international scientific-based environmental non-for-profit organization, working to reverse overfishing globally through its certification and eco-labeling program. Together with scientists, fishery experts, businesses and conservation groups, the MSC has developed an environmental standard to evaluate and recognize sustainable fisheries, empowering seafood consumers in making sustainable purchasing choices with the MSC Blue Fish Tick ecolabel on certified product packaging.  Anita’s role at the MSC is centered around working with players in the supply chain to grow sustainable seafood variety in Australia, and transforming the market to become sustainable and traceable from ocean to plate utilizing the MSC Chain of Custody Standard.

Anita has over 15 years of B2B and B2C strategic marketing experience across numerous food categories in Oceania and South East Asia.

Interactive Roundtable Discussion: Tightening The Net Against Counterfeit Seafood


Ben Thomas

National HSE Manager


Topic: Sodexo Case Study: How Sodexo Plays A Vital Role In The Food Value Chain When It Comes To Food Safety


Blair Keating

Head of Innovation


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

Topic: Food Safety And Sustainability – Changing The Conversation To Achieve A Common Goal

Food Safety Site Tour:  SPC

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David Miles

Product Compliance Manager


Dr. David Miles graduated from UTAS in 2001 and went on to work with the NSW Food Authority for 15 years.

For the past 5 years, David has been working with Coles Supermarkets in the Quality and Responsible Sourcing Team.

David leads a team to investigate customer complaints with Own Brand suppliers and also liaises with 3rd party labs to manage the Coles surveillance testing program.

Topic: Food Microbiology For The Future


Dr. Amy Jennison

Acting Chief Scientist

Queensland Health

Dr. Amy Jennison is the Acting Chief Scientist, 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 under culturing 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: How Whole Genome Sequencing Is Revolutionizing Food Safety In Salmonella Detection


Dr. Ian Jenson

Food Safety & Market Access Science & Technology Manager

Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA)

Ian Jenson is a microbiologist with bachelors and masters degrees from the University of New South Wales in microbiology and biotechnology and also in biological process engineering, and a PhD from the University of Tasmania for research on innovation in food safety systems.  He has worked in microbiological research, quality, food safety and customer technical services in both industrial fermentation and food industries in Australia and a number of other countries. He has been active in professional associations in Australia and internationally, and been invited to participate in consultations held by WHO and FAO on food safety. For the past 18 years Ian has led the Australian red meat industry’s food safety research program, working with scientists in Australia to understand how to manage risks associated with meat products, control of meat hygiene, management of shelf life and providing maintaining consumer trust. He also works with the meat supply chain, Australian and importing country standards setters and regulators to ensure that Australian meat is internationally recognised as a safe and quality product.

Topic: How Predictive Microbiology Can Be Used To Enhance Food Safety


Dr. Liz Barbour


Cooperative Research Centre For Honey Products

Dr. Liz Barbour is CEO of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Honey Bee Products, adding value to the honey bee industry. The CRC includes twenty-five companies and supports over 30 research projects answering questions focussed on apiary sites, honey bee health, honey chemistry and bioactivity, and traceability. Sixteen of these projects are supported through the training of PhD students to infuse youth into the industry. Prior to this current role, Liz managed research to develop tree crops for pulp, essential oils and nutraceutical use which led to commercialization opportunities.

Interactive Roundtable Discussion: Combatting Fraud Honey With Technologies


Dr. Sally Symes

Senior Food Science Officer

Department of Health & Human Services, Victoria

Sally is a molecular microbiologist and virologist. She received her PhD in Microbiology from Monash University. She then spent nine years as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and Research Fellow in the Veterinary Microbiology Group in the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Melbourne, before joining the Food Safety Unit in the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services in 2014. Sally works as a Senior Food Science Officer in the Food Policy team and has been involved with a number of projects utilising microbial genomics for food safety. Sally has published her research in numerous peer-reviewed journals and has attended, and presented at, national and international scientific conferences.

Topic:Department Of Health & Human Services Perspective: Food Safety With Next-Generation Sequencing


Dr. Shayna Street

Quality Assurance Manager


Topic: Food Safety Culture: What Is It And How Do We Influence It?

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Gabrielle Weidner

Food Recall Manager, Food Safety & Response Section

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ)

Gabrielle has been the Food Recall Coordinator at Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) for the last 3 years. Before that she was the National Food Incident Response Secretariat. She leads FSANZ’s coordination of food recalls and assists with the response to food incidents in Australia.

Gabrielle is also an Accredited Practicing Dietitian and holds a Master’s Degree in Dietetics from the University of Canberra.

Topic: Food Recalls – What’s Actually Being Recalled?



Joachim Ott

Business development Manager - Product Inspection

WIPOTEC-OCS GmbH (DiverseCo)

Since taking on the role of Business Development Manager with the Wipotec-OCS Product Inspection team based in Kaiserslautern Germany in 2017, Joachim has travelled the world looking after the company’s distributors in Australia, South Africa, Northern Africa, Middle East and Switzerland. Joachim is responsible for direct sales of Xray and product inspection systems in many markets and is the Key Account Manager for a major European dairy group. As a technology manufacturer’s representative who works closely with both end-users and distributors, Joachim has unique insight into the challenges and  opportunities facing today’s food manufacturing companies.

Topic: Food Inspection & Traceability Equipment In The Production Line: Current State Of The Art And Our Vision For The Future

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Joanne Price

Head of Quality, Innovation & Projects

Langdon Ingredients

Head of Quality Assurance and Projects, Langdon Ingredients. Joanne started her career as a laboratory technician at Bonlac Foods in country Victoria and has over 20 years of experience within Food FMCG’s Coca-Cola Amatil, General Mills, Lion, Heinz and now Langdon Ingredients. Joanne’s experience in allergen management comes from a variety of roles in QA manufacturing, Product development, Vendor assurance, Copacker management and Regulatory compliance. In Joanne’s current role she is responsible for leading the Quality Assurance framework meeting Regulatory and Food safety commitments and risk mitigation strategies for ingredient supply and manufactured goods. Joanne is also leading Working Group projects on Agricultural Allergen Cross Contact with the Australia Allergen Bureau.

Topic: How Langdon Ingredients Control Food Allergens In the Supply Chain


Kim Tonnet

Regulatory Manager - Scientific & Technical

Australian Food & Grocery Council (AFGC)

Topic: AFGC – Food Allergen Management



Lief Lundin

Head of Food Innovation Centre


Food Safety Site Tour:  CSIRO Food Innovation



Mark Salter

Principal-Microbiology & Laboratory Oversight

Department of Agriculture, Water & The Environment

Dr. Mark Salter is the Principal, Microbiology and Laboratory Oversight, at the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE), a position he has held since early 2016. Dr. Salter achieved a Ph.D. from the University of Tasmania in food microbiology. He worked for over ten years at Food Standards Australia New Zealand before undertaking a number of different roles at DAWE. During his career, he has managed the review of Australian microbiological standards in food, participated in training initiatives in food regulation in South-East Asia, sat on the Australian delegation for several Codex Alimentarius Committees and managed the export of Australian meat and meat products to overseas markets. In his current role, he is responsible for regulatory oversight of Australia’s meat export laboratories and managing the export meat industry performance monitoring system. Dr. Salter maintains a keen interest in food microbiology and is a Member of the Australian Society for Microbiology.

Topic: Regulatory Monitoring Of Exported Meat – Using And Improving The Product Hygiene Indicators Program

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Peter Carter

Director, Business Development & Innovation

GS1 Australia

Peter is an agricultural economist, innovator and passionate advocate for digital transformation in industry and government. Having lead CSIRO|Data61 National Digital Missions focused on supply chain integrity and food provenance, Peter joined GS1 Australia to direct new business and innovation activity through industry collaboration and support for the adoption of global standards. Peter leads GS1 Australia’s traceability and trade modernisation program has recently been awarded a Churchill Fellowship to undertake international research into food traceability systems and best practice in the industry.

Topic: How GS1 Standard Is Transforming The Food Supply Chain And Traceability



Ram Akella

Business Partner, Woolworths Food Group

Woolworths Group

Ram is a strategic business partner within the Food Group at Woolworths. He works with the senior leadership teams of Metro, FoodCo & New Business areas on major strategies and transformational initiatives to develop operational plans with sustainable outcomes.

Woolworths has more than 3,000 stores across Australia and New Zealand, that span food, liquor, general merchandise, and hotels. Woolworths is a proud, home-grown Australian business, employer of more than 198,000 people and committed business partner of many thousand local farmers, producers, and manufacturers.

Ram has over 20 years of professional experience focusing his leadership efforts on creating value for customers and business. His leadership experience spans across IT, Supply Chain leading Strategy, Architecture, and Program Delivery. Ram is actively leading the End-to-End Product Traceability for Woolworths Group for more than 24 months. He has been actively representing at various forums and is also a keynote speaker on this topic at various events organized by the industry.

Ram is privileged to work with great leaders and great teams over the number of years and cherishes the quality of relationships with the leaders, and their senior teams for his achievements. He believes that it is vital to track and monitor the organizational activities on a regular basis to demonstrate the progress and value over a period of time.

Topic: Woolworths: The Promise And Potential Of End-To-End Traceability For Australian Food And Agriculture Sector



Rekha Baptista

Traceability COE Manager


Rekha currently leads the Traceability Centre of Excellence team and their focus is to manage and grow traceability knowledge and capability across Fonterra’s global value chain network.

At Fonterra, they have implemented world class systems and tools to manage traceability of products from farm to customer, as well as providing the ability for consumers to electronically validate the authenticity and provenance of their products.

The key function of the Traceability Centre of Excellence is to support Fonterra’s business units globally to ensure the integrity of their data, systems and processes. From a strategic perspective Rekha’s role is to continuously explore new tools and solutions to ensure Fonterra is able to meet the evolving regulatory and consumer demands for traceability and product authentication.

Rekha joined Fonterra in 2002 and have worked in several roles across the supply chain from manufacturing, operations to exports. She played a key role in implementing Fonterra’s electronic export systems and regulatory systems – both of which are leading edge with a high degree of automation. Rekha holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a major in International Trade.

Topic: How Fonterra Is Embracing Technology To Guarantee 100% Authenticity In Its Dairy Exports


Richard Plunkett

General Manager, Business Enablement

Woolworths Group

Richard is the General Manager of Business Enablement which forms part of the Customer Transformation Team at the Woolworths Group. He provides oversight to critical master data services and transformational projects across the group.

Woolworths has more than 3,000 stores across Australia and New Zealand, spanning food, liquor, general merchandise, and hotels. Woolworths is a proud, home-grown Australian business, employer of more than 198,000 people and a committed business partner of many local farmers, producers, and manufacturers. Richard has over 30 years of retail experience, focusing his leadership efforts on delivering to customers and team. Richard also has deep management and leadership experience across core IT and digital technology areas, Supply Chain, Finance, Master Data management, and Transformational Program Delivery.

Richard has been involved in and has led many major technology-enabled changes across the Woolworths group. He has performed the executive sponsorship role for the replacement of Store Point of Sales and Inventory management systems (group), Business delivery of SAP Retail and Liquor Supply Chain Transformation.

Richard understands the importance and criticality of team collaboration as the pace and complexity of retail continue to evolve and takes an active role in focussing on developing processes and systems that consistently deliver a great customer and employee experience. The use of digital capability and industry standards are key to achieving this outcome.

Topic: Woolworths: The Promise And Potential Of End-To-End Traceability For Australian Food And Agriculture Sector



Sandra Olivier

Team Leader – Applied Food Microbiology


Sandra Olivier is an applied food microbiologist in the Processing Microbiology Team of the CSIRO. Sandra leads research with local and international food manufacturing clients and has specific expertise related to spore-forming microorganisms (including Clostridium botulinum), their control in foods, and their inactivation by thermal and high-pressure thermal processing. She is currently involved in a number of strategic, collaborative research projects looking to enhance the nutritional value, convenience and quality attributes of processed foods using innovative food processing technologies like high pressure and microwave. Sandra also works closely with industry clients on other research and development projects relating to the microbiological safety and stability of foods, particularly those foods that are thermally processed or preserved by formulation hurdles.

Topic: CSIRO: High-Pressure Thermal Processing – An Innovative Solution


Stephen Light

Hospitality Advisor, Quality and Compliance Team

IRT Group

Stephen started his career as an Apprentice Chef with the Summit restaurant chain Sydney. For the past 16 years, he has worked within the aged care industry, in both cooking and management roles for companies such as Compass Group, Catholic Healthcare, Montefiore Jewish Homes and now IRT Group, liaising with residents, their families, and friends to ensure the best “Quality of Life” can be promoted.

Within his current portfolio, he provides leadership in food safety and quality governance, to ensure all work is performed in compliance with legislative and ethical frameworks. My responsibilities include the review of external authorities, accreditation outcomes and/or complaints to identify system improvements as well as the review of Policy and Procedures as part of the Quality and Compliance Team.

He also liaises with Hospitality Managers, the Quality and Compliance Team and IRT Catering to provide support in food safety and report on IRT’s compliance with food safety legislation, related legislative guidelines, and procedures.

Topic: Managing Food Safety In Aged Care


Warwick Powell



Warwick began his career in academia, teaching Chinese history and European cultural history at Griffith University. He graduated with First Class Honours and is the recipient of the prestigious University Medal for Academic Excellence. Warwick was also awarded a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade scholarship to undertake postgraduate studies at People’s University, Beijing. He deferred his studies to begin work for Kevin Rudd in the Queensland Government.

In Government, Warwick was Mr. Rudd’s personal private secretary and researcher before taking on the role of Advisor to the Minister for Mines and Energy. He moved from Government to private industry in 1996 and founded an economics and statistics research company. Having grown the business to 70 full-time equivalent employees in 3 years, he sold the business and began a career in pan-Asia investment banking.

He is the chairman and founder of Sister City Partners Limited, a not-for-profit investment bank focusing on developing links between regional Australia and the markets of Asia. Through this work, Warwick has experience in diverse industries including cattle and sheep production and processing, information and communication technology, infrastructure, energy, natural resources, travel and tourism, and property development.

He is a director of a number of funds management companies responsible for funds established under an ASIC-approved Australian Financial Services License. He is a member of the Central Highlands Accelerate Agribusiness Advisory Board and was the founding Treasurer of Innovation NQ Inc., a not-for-profit innovation incubator in North Queensland.

He continues to teach professional courses in areas such as innovation, creativity, regional economic development, and blockchain technology with James Cook University, QUT, and Edith Cowan University.

Topic: How Blockchain Is Helping To Fight Food Fraud And Transform Traceability Of Beef From Australia To China