Australian Food & Grocery Council

Key Staff

Chief Executive Officer

Tanya Barden
Chief Executive Officer

Tanya Barden is the Chief Executive Officer at the Australian Food and Grocery Council, which is Australia’s peak industry body representing food, beverage and grocery manufacturers. Tanya brings tremendous experience and proven success at senior executive levels in both the public and private sectors, with a career spanning the public service and business. Previously the AFGC Director of Economics, Trade and Sustainability, Tanya has strong experience with the $131.3 billion food and grocery sector, led the secretariat’s work on  international market access and non-tariff barriers to international trade, as well as a range of issues relating to the competitiveness and environmental sustainability of the industry.

Tanya comes to the position with a strong background in competition, energy and economics policy and regulation having worked in various roles at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.  Subsequent to this she worked for energy retailer ActewAGL and ran her own on-line food retail business.

Tanya holds Bachelor of Economics/ Bachelor of Arts degrees and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Director Health Nutrition and Scientific Affairs

Dr Geoffrey Annison
Director, Health, Nutrition and Scientific Affairs

Dr Geoffrey Annison joined the AFGC in October 2007. He has wide experience in food regulation and innovation, having held a number of senior technical and management roles in industry in Australia and overseas, in academia, and in public policy.

His career has spanned a number of sectors including the FMCG sector with Goodman Fielder and the AFGC, the rural sector with organisations such as Australian Pork Ltd and AWB Ltd. and research providers such as Massey University in New Zealand and the CSIRO, providing him with an extensive knowledge of current industry issues, particularly in the technical arena. Dr Annison has a Bachelor of Science in Food Technology and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of New South Wales.

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Media, Corporate Affairs and Government Relations

James Mathews

Director of Communications


James has extensive career in government relations and corporate affairs roles including senior representation of Australia’s food and grocery manufacturing, resources and education sectors as well as in consultancy and ministerial offices. He completed a PhD in Politics and International Relations, examining executive tactics in managing the Senate. James also has a BA Communications (Hons) specialising in public relations and journalism. His Honours thesis focused on “grass roots” electorate based political campaigns. He has also worked as a media advisor and staffer for Federal and State Ministers and Members of Parliament.


Barry Cosier
Director, Sustainability


Barry brings extensive experience from both the grocery industry and the resource recovery industry, which is valuable given the high and increased priority on packaging and waste issues.

During his 25 years in the grocery industry Barry has worked for multinational corporations including Johnson and Johnson Pacific, Sanofi and Reckitt and Colman, in Customer Development and Trade Marketing management roles.  Barry’s experience also extends to the SME sector as the CEO of Madura Tea and as an AFGC Board Director representing the SME sector and Chair of the SME Forum.

More recently Barry moved to the resource recovery and recycling industry acting as the Contracts and Corporate Affairs Manager for Solo Resource Recovery and is presently a member of the Department of Environment and Energy Food Waste Steering Committee and the National Waste Policy Industry Reference Group.

Industry Affairs

Samantha Blake
Director, Industry Affairs


As Director Industry Affairs, Samantha works on a wide range of commercial, supply chain and retail trade issues impacting the Australian market. Including Food and Grocery Code of Conduct, end-to-end value chain opportunities, commercial and sales capabilities, as well as the financial competitiveness of the FMCG retail industry.

Samantha has extensive career experience working in the food industry in Australia and United Kingdom, spanning 18 years. Her work has encompassed all areas of food operations including executive management roles in manufacturing, technical, supply chain, with responsibility for production, maintenance, engineering, quality, product and process development.

Samantha joined the AFGC in January 2004.

Finance and Administration

Jack Gevorgian
Director, Finance and Administration


As Director Finance and Administration, Jack is primarily responsible for the functional operations and financial planning of the Australian Food and Grocery Council.

Jack started his career at Coles in Warriewood as a Trainee Manager, sick of collecting trollies for a living his grandfather suggested “why don’t you do accounting?”. Thus began an extensive career spanning almost four decades he has worked for both the for profit and the not for profit sectors. He has a specific passion for the not-for-profit sector having worked for Regional Arts NSW before leaving Sydney and finally settling in Canberra.  Jack is integrally connected with the AFGC having served since August 2006, helping guide the organisation through many phases of its institutional progression.

Membership Services

David Hall
Director, Business Development


David brings to the AFGC extensive executive management experience in leading change programs and creating effective teams. His career has enabled him to gain experience in global and Australasian companies including National Foods, Dairy Farmers, Goodman Fielder, Kellogg’s, Boot’s Healthcare and Proctor and Gamble. David has worked in multiple geographies (Europe, UK, Asia, Australia and New Zealand) and in both general management and functional roles (Sales, Marketing and Supply Chain). Additionally, he has lead and supported major change projects: the revitalisation and sale of the Dairy Farmers business; major acquisition integration programs at National Foods and Goodman Fielder, and; restructuring of the Sales and Logistics function at Kellogg’s Australia and Japan.