Australian food & grocery industry chief departs

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 23rd January 2012

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has announced today that its Chief Executive, Kate Carnell, is to leave the industry group at the end of March 2012.

Ms Carnell has accepted the position of CEO at Beyond Blue, an Australian non-profit organisation which aims to increase awareness and improve the treatment of depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders and related mental disorders.

Prior to Ms Carnell’s departure at the end of March, the AFGC Board will be evaluating potential candidates for the role of CEO. Ms Carnell has kept the AFGC role for three and a half years.

In a statement released today, AFGC Chairman John Doumani said, “In the three and a half years Kate has served AFGC as CEO, the organisation has gone from strength to strength.

“Under Kate’s leadership, the group has raised the profile of important issues affecting the industry. The establishment of the Food and Health Dialogue, the Food Manufacturing Industry Roundtable, work surrounding the National Food Plan, the annual State of the Industry Report and the 2020 – Industry at a Crossroad Report are just some of the AFGC’s recent achievements,” he said.

Ms Carnell said, “The decision to leave AFGC has been very difficult but I am confident it is in good hands and will continue to professionally and proactively represent the industry, working with government and other stakeholders to ensure the industry has a bright future and consumers continue to have access to high quality, sustainable, healthy and affordable food and grocery brands that they know and trust.”

The move comes at a time when Australian manufacturers are facing intense pressure from the major supermarkets. Some of the manufacturers have been disappointed that the AFGC has not been able either to engage strongly with the supermarket majors or position itself as a counter-weight to supermarket power