The Chairman of the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC), Mr Terry O’Brien, today announced that AFGC CEO Gary Dawson will leave the organisation in March after almost five years in the role.

“Gary has advised the Board that he believes it is the right time to pursue a new career opportunity and hand over the AFGC reins to a new CEO,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Since joining the AFGC in 2012 Gary has been an effective advocate and excellent leader during challenging times for our industry.

“Gary and his very competent and dedicated team have represented AFGC members across many platforms and achieved a great deal. The dual objectives of improving the food and grocery sector’s competitiveness and reputation, introduced by Gary, have been the cornerstone principles for a range of initiatives spanning competition, tax and trade policy, diet and health, regulatory reform and environmental sustainability.

“Gary brought many attributes to the role including strong but empathetic leadership and relationship building, timely and articulate communication and clear thinking on very complex challenges. The delivery of the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct was a standout example of Gary’s contribution. Gary has been a good listener and a strong but fair advocate of AFGC members across the spectrum of company size, structure and maturity. He has been an excellent CEO for me to work with as Chairman and he leaves us with my sincere best wishes for his future career.”

Mr Dawson paid tribute to the AFGC Board, Member companies and staff at the Council’s secretariat for their strong support over the past four and a half years. “The leadership provided by the chairman Terry O’Brien, the Board and the outstanding work of the team at the AFGC secretariat is reflected in the relevance and influence of the AFGC in the national debate, and the strength of the membership,” he said.

“I am proud of what we’ve been able to achieve under my tenure, most notably the negotiation and enactment of the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct, which is the most significant measure to improve retailer – supplier relationships in many years.

“The food and grocery sector continues to grow, with double digit export growth an encouraging sign for the future. The AFGC has put a greater focus on trade issues, including input into FTA negotiations and increasing work on identifying and addressing non-tariff barriers to assist member companies to access growth opportunities in export markets.

“The strength of the AFGC’s membership, Board and secretariat mean it is well placed to address the challenges facing this vital sector of the Australian economy, a sector that delivers food and the essentials of life to every Australian, every day.”

A recruitment process is underway for a new CEO.



AFGC Media Contact: James Mathews 0407 416 002