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 $126 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 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.

Trade and Economics

Peter Keogh
Director, Trade and Economics


Peter Keogh joined the AFGC in July 2017. He has an extensive experience in international trade, regulation and economic policy, having held a number of senior policy development and management positions both in the public and private sectors both in Australia and overseas. Peter headed up the economic practices in two “big four” advisory consulting firms and was a Partner in one of Canberra’s largest public policy advisory firms where he specialised in industry and international trade policy development and regulation. He is also a former Trade Commissioner with Austrade and was CEO of an international investment firm.

Peter hold a Bachelor of Business in Accounting and Marketing, an Economics Degree, a Masters in International Business and a Masters in Public Policy.

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.

Legal and Regulatory Affairs

Chris Preston
Director, Legal and Regulatory Affairs


Christopher Preston joined the Australian Food and Grocery Council in July 2013 as Director, Legal and Regulatory. Best known as Principal of the specialist FMCG firm Legal Finesse, for 15 years Chris provided legal advice and services to manufacturers and brand owners regarding regimes governing food, beverages, cosmetics, OTC pharmaceuticals and general consumer goods. Previously he was Principal Legal Adviser to what is now FSANZ, drafting Australia’s food standards for 7 years, and as a legal adviser to the Attorney-General’s Department he worked in fair trading law and policy in areas such as consumer warranties, product liability and product safety.

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.