AIFST Governance



MR PETER SCHUTZ,   OAM

Chair

Peter has more than 40 years' experience in the Australian food industry with a strong interest in and passion for ensuring a sustainable and viable profession.

Peter has held a range of senior management roles including Chief Executive (and previously Group Technical Director) of George Weston Technologies from 2000 to 2011. 

Following his executive positions, Peter has taken on various non-executive director roles within the industry. He is currently the Chair of Food Innovation Australia Limited, a Ministerial appointment within the Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre, as well as serving as a member of the Growth Centre Advisory Committee for the Department of Industry and Science.

Peter has had a long association with AIFST since becoming a Professional Member in 1984 - he was appointed a Fellow of the Institute in 2009. He served as Chair of the AIFST Publications Editorial Committee from 2011 to 2013 and was awarded the AIFST Food Innovation Award in 2003. Peter is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


MS FIONA FLEMING

Chief Executive Officer and Company Secretary

Fiona is Managing Director of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology (AIFST). She is an experienced Corporate and Regulatory Affairs professional who has been involved in leading and facilitating change and developing management strategies across a portfolio of food policy and regulation matters in global FMCG and NGO environments.

Fiona has more than 30 years’ experience in the food industry in the areas of dairy, seafood, cereal based foods, smallgoods, tea, simmer sauces and pastes, ingredients and infant formula. Fiona has previously worked for a large FMCG company in the role of Group Quality and Corporate Affairs Manager.  In this role she was responsible for providing leadership across Australia and New Zealand in the areas of food policy and regulation; consumer affairs and communication; issues and crisis management and food quality and safety.

Fiona is a Professional member of the Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology. Fiona is currently serving as a Non-Executive Director and Deputy Chair of Healthy Kids. Fiona is a member of Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia; an Associate Member of the Allergen Bureau and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


MS SANDRA LOADER

Non-Executive Director

Sandra is a professional company director with over 10 years of board experience as well as previously holding several senior executive roles, in multinational organisations. Passionate about embracing change and focused on adding value through wisdom gained from 30 years in the FMCG sector in both food and beverage organisations across ANZ.

Sandra’s board experience spans not for profit and private sectors across associations, government, and the Food & Beverage sectors as a Non-Executive Director and Chair. Governance is where she loves to add value based on expertise in the areas of Innovation, Research & Development, Strategy, Compliance, Risk and Human Capital.

Sandra has a mixed board portfolio and is the current independent chair of the Australian Beverages Council, a Non-Executive Director of the Sports Environment Alliance as well as a member of the NSW Govt Advisory Board for the Container Deposit Scheme. She is also the Victorian advocate for Hargraves Institute, who focuses on innovation and collaboration across all sectors.


MR DEON MAHONEY

Non-Executive Director 

Deon Mahoney is a fellow of AIFST and possesses considerable experience across food science and technology. Over his career his roles have included the development of food safety policy, microbiological risk assessment, risk communication, development and enforcement of food legislation, quality assurance, and training and education.

As Head of Food Safety at PMA A-NZ, Deon provides high level technical support and guidance with the goal of ensuring the safety and suitability of fresh produce.

Deon completed post-graduate studies at a The University of Sydney, including a Master of Science in Agriculture degree. He retains a keen interest in evolving advances in food science and technology.

Deon has previously worked for the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization, as well as with Food Standards Australia New Zealand, and Dairy Food Safety Victoria. In these roles he has developed and published a wide range of technical guidance material; provided forward-looking scientific advice addressing factors that impact the safety of food products; and been actively involved in Listeria incident monitoring and response.



DR CHRIS DOWNS

Non-Executive Director

Chris is General Manager for Crop and Food Science at the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries in Brisbane. In this role he leads the delivery of research, development and extension in Agri-food and Data Sciences, Crop Improvement and Sustainable Farming Systems

Chris has experience working with meat, dairy, seafood and horticulture sectors in Australia and New Zealand. He has previously held executive positions in Food Science Australia, CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences, CSIRO Animal, Food and Health Sciences and the NZ Institute for Crop & Food Research, with responsibilities including; capability development, science strategy and leadership, investment portfolio leadership, business development and commercialisation.

His current and previous Directorships include companies involved in innovation and commercialisation in seafood and biomaterials, and Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research a New Zealand Crown Research Institute, and the Institute of Food Technologists in the USA.


MR JOHN KAVANAGH

Non-Executive Director

John has spent over 25 years in leadership roles across the Food and Healthcare industries.  Most recently, John was the CEO of Integria Healthcare, which is an Australian based, privately owned business that manufactures and sells natural healthcare products throughout ANZ, North America, Asia and Europe.  In his capacity as Integria’s CEO, John also sat on the Board of the industry association (Complementary Medicines Australia) for 3 years.

Prior to Integria, for nearly 8 years John was CFO of George Weston Foods and also served on the Boards of a number of domestic and international joint ventures, and before that John was the Director of Finance & IT at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (ANZ).

After completing his Economics Degree at Macquarie University, John started his career as a finance professional with Price Waterhouse, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant and then becoming a Registered Auditor in a private practice.

During his career, John has served on numerous voluntary boards and committees, generally taking on the Treasurer’s responsibilities.

John has been a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors since 2011.


MR DUNCAN MCDONALD

Non-Executive Director

Duncan runs his own food ingredient and technology business which services the Australian food manufacturing and related industries and has business interests in Food and Agri Food Science Education. Duncan has enjoyed a longstanding and diverse career resulting in a multi-skilled background (Food Science / Nutrition, Manufacturing / Operations, Marketing / New Products, and Strategy), with a solid financial and cultural performance record stemming from past Senior Management responsibilities which have covered Australia and overseas markets and operations within blue-chip organizations such as Nestle, Symrise, Goodman Fielder and Burns Philp.

Duncan has been actively involved over the years with various food company Boards such as Symrise (Oceania) and Burns Philp (Asian JV’s) and his own companies. His food industry association involvements include: Chairing in 2011 the 44th Annual Australian Institute of Food Science & Technology (AIFST) Convention in Sydney. Between 2005 and 2007, he Chaired the Australian Flavour and Fragrance Association, and in the 1990’s, in addition to initiating the AIFST Membership Marketing Committee, he assisted in developing strategies for the AIFST and was a contributing author for the Secondary Schools textbook in Food Technology.

Duncan is a fellow of the AIFST.


MS SUZ ALLEN

Non-Executive Director

A former CSIRO scientist and Research Supplier, Suz offers over 30 years’ experience in consumer and sensory product research. Throughout her career, Suz has consulted to a large number of FMCG companies as a sensory specialist, with her experience covering a wide range of products including fresh and processed foods, beverages, pet food and personal/home care.

Academically, Suz has completed a Science Degree in Physiology and Psychology, a Masters’ Degree in Cognitive Science, an MBA in Marketing, a Graduate Certificate in Gastronomy and more... and she continues to have an insatiable curiosity!

Suz is currently the Director of Sensory & Consumer Science at Arnott’s Asia Pacific, and manages the core sensory discipline, with current responsibilities for teams in Australia, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Key career achievements have included long-standing client partnerships at senior management level, peer-reviewed publications, successful food innovation launches, and tailor-making product and strategy to meet specific consumer segments.  Suz is adept at turning ideas into profitable business outcomes and looks forward to bringing her ideas and passion for innovation to the Board.  It is more important than ever to utilise our networks, connect our members, and promote our industry, as we continue to navigate our way through a changing professional landscape.

Suz previously held the position of Board Director/Vice President at the Australian Market & Social Research Society (serving three terms) and in conjunction, has been a representative on the Research Industry Council of Australia (RICA). 

Suz has been a Professional Member of AIFST since 1991, is a Fellow of the Australian Market & Social Research Society (AMSRS), a Qualified Professional Researcher (QPR), and has undertaken ‘Not for Profit’ Governance training with the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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