Events & Education

About AFGC

Your Team

Meet the team

We have a strong Board and leadership team that ensures we are a progressive, influential and sustainable organisation. The Australian Food and Grocery Council operates from Canberra to maintain close relationships with government and has team members located around Australia to stay connected with the industry and our members.


Leadership team

Tanya Barden OAM, Chief Executive Officer

Tanya Barden OAM is the Chief Executive Officer at the Australian Food and Grocery Council. She is honoured to represent members for Australia’s peak body for food and grocery manufacturers and suppliers. To lead a team that delivers services, which offers tangible value to members, Tanya draws on her extensive experience in senior private and public sector roles. She understands member needs having held the position of Director, Economics, Trade and Sustainability with the AFGC for seven years. This gives her deep insights into the types of issues faced by members and the opportunities and challenges they can face in these areas. Her previous work experience for ActewAGL and running her own online food business augment this knowledge. Prior to this, various roles with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission exposed Tanya to the regulatory and economic policy development processes for competition, energy and economics. Tanya is passionate about the success of the industry and individual members and ensures she engages with people on the coal face every week.

Dr Geoffrey Annison, Deputy Chief Executive

“We have operated for over 25 years with integrity and deliver high quality services to members.”

Dr Geoffrey Annison is Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Health, Nutrition and Scientific Affairs at the Australian Food and Grocery Council. He leads a team of experienced health, nutrition and scientific professionals that provide specialist services to members. To deliver high quality advice and industry resources that help members and the industry, he leverages his wide experience in food, regulation and innovation. Dr Annison has held a number of senior technical and management roles in Australia and overseas. This has included positions within the industry such as with Goodman Fielder, Australian Pork Pty Ltd and the Australian Wheat Board. Other academic roles with Massey University (New Zealand) and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) give him deep technical knowledge of research and public policy. Dr. Annison has a Bachelor of Science in Food Technology and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of New South Wales. These skills and experiences enable him to understand current industry issues from a number of perspectives and to offer solutions and services that support members.

Samantha Blake, Director, Competitiveness and Growth

“I help members identify supply chain efficiencies and strengthen relationships with retailers to grow their revenue.”

Samantha Blake is Director, Competitiveness and Growth at the Australian Food and Grocery Council. She works with members on a wide range of commercial, supply chain and retail trade issues impacting the Australian market. Some of the ways Samantha helps members and the industry is work on the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct, end-to-end value chain opportunities, commercial and sales capabilities and enhancing the financial competitiveness of the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry. Members draw on her insights from 18 years’ experience working in the industry in Australia and United Kingdom. This work encompassed all areas of food operations including executive management roles in manufacturing, technical and supply chain divisions of FMCG organisations. She was responsible for production, maintenance, engineering, quality, product and process development so has a deep understanding to support members.  Contact Samantha here.

Barry Cosier, Director, Sustainability

“I enjoy working with members to help them understand the ways they can reduce their environmental impact and comply with legislation.”

Barry Cosier is Director, Sustainability for the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC). He helps members navigate the complexities of sustainable practices by drawing on his extensive experiences in the grocery and resource recovery industries. Barry worked in Customer Development and Trade roles for Johnson and Johnson Pacific, Sanofi, Reckitt and Colman. He was also Chief Executive Officer of Madura Tea and served as a Board Member and Chair of the SME Forum for AFGC. To expand his knowledge, Barry moved into the resource recovery industry and was the Contracts and Corporate Affairs Manager for Solo Resource Recovery. He stays at the forefront of this industry by serving as a member of the Department of Environment and Energy Food Waster Steering Committee and the National Wast Policy Industry Reference Group. This helps Barry support members that are striving to reduce their environmental footprint and care for the community and environment.  Contact Barry here.

Megan Jeremenko, Director, Government and Media Relations

Megan Jeremenko is Director, Government and Media Relations at the Australian Food and Grocery Council.  Megan works across all areas of the AFGC to assist members engage with government at the highest of levels as well as with the media and other stakeholders.  This engagement is to ensure that government understands the value of the food and grocery manufacturing sector, the jobs and economic contribution it brings along with the other key areas of importance for the sector.  Members can draw upon Megan’s diverse experience in working within government as a federal Ministerial Adviser for a number of Minister’s as well as a government relations professional in corporate and charity organisations over the last 20 years.  Megan brings knowledge and experience in policy development, advocacy, media and government relations.  Contact Megan here.

Adelina La Vita, Director, Membership and Business Operations

Adelina La Vita

Adelina La Vita is responsible for overseeing and leading the AFGC’s membership engagement strategies and business operations. Delivering value to our members through engagement and awareness of the AFGC products, services and events is Adelina’s area of responsibility. With over seven years’ experience in membership association bodies, her ability to deliver member value has seen growth in both acquisition and retention numbers, leaving members highly engaged and satisfied. Her responsibilities also include finance, IT, HR and office administration. Members can draw upon Adelina’s diverse experience in working with member associations, government and brands, both in Australia and Europe over the last 25 years. Adelina brings knowledge and experience in brands, marketing, membership, and constantly innovates in developing business solutions that reach audiences through digital enablement.   Contact Adelina here.


AFGC Board members

The Board is made up of leaders from the industry, including:


Name AFGC Board Position Industry Position
Darren O’Brien Chair  President Australia, New Zealand & Japan, Mondelez
Sandra Martinez Deputy Chair Chief Executive Officer, Nestle Australia Ltd
Danny Celoni Director Chief Executive Officer, Australia & New Zealand, Pepsico
Garry Mudford Director General Manager, Jalna Dairy Foods Pty Ltd
Graham Dugdale Director Managing Director, Simplot Australia Pty Ltd
Nicole Sparshott Director Chief Executive Officer, Unilever Australia and New Zealand
Paris Golden Director Managing Director, McCormick Foods Australia Pty Ltd
Emma Welsh Director Chief Executive Officer, Emma & Tom Foods Pty Ltd
Ray Hanly Director Chief Executive Officer, Beak and Johnston Pty Ltd