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AgriQuality appoints new CEO

M E D I A S T A T E M E N T

AgriQuality New Zealand
For immediate release


1 December 1999

AgriQuality appoints new CEO

AgriQuality New Zealand Chairman, Sue Suckling, has officially announced the appointment of John Morgan as the Company's new Chief Executive Officer.

Mr Morgan (43), a New Zealander, took up his new role on November 1 and joins AgriQuality exactly one year after its establishment as a state-owned enterprise. AgriQuality was formerly part of MAF Quality Management. Mr Morgan replaces Hugh Lynch who resigned from the position for health reasons.

"John Morgan joins us at time where, after a full year of hard work laying the foundations for the future direction of the Company, AgriQuality is poised to compete aggressively and very successfully in an opportunity-rich market.

"John has the qualities that will lift AgriQuality to new levels of performance. He's customer focused, passionate about New Zealand and our food and agribusiness industries, and is a common sense, no-nonsense leader. We welcome him and wish him well," says Ms Suckling.

Mr Morgan has extensive experience in leading private sector businesses. He joined Orica (previously ICI) in 1989 and was New Zealand General Manager for the Chemicals and Plastics divisions. At age 36, he was appointed an Executive Director of the Company. Prior to this, Mr Morgan spent 10 years building and managing his own printing business in the UK, Prontaprint, which he subsequently sold.

"AgriQuality has the potential to be a driving competitive force in its market. Our key advantages of unparalleled breadth and depth of knowledge and expertise, a nationwide network, and superb technical facilities provide the recipe for success," says Mr Morgan.

"My priority looking forward is to balance getting the most out of the organisational benefits we've inherited, and building on our customer focus. Our key goal is to demonstrate how we make a difference to customers' business. We have over one hundred years' experience of adding value at the critical quality points of the food and agribusiness industries.


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"The food and agribusiness industries are facing particular issues and challenges at the moment and, drawing on a strong base of intellectual property, AgriQuality is in a perfect position to help provide the product information increasingly discerning consumers are demanding.

"Our recently launched Assurance Mark is set to lead the market in terms of product information. Consumers will be able to trust the product claims made about products carrying the Assurance Mark because they have been independently verified by AgriQuality.

"Issues such as genetic modification of foods pose challenges and responsibilities for our industry. AgriQuality welcomes, encourages, and will be an active participant in the GM foods debate.

"After just a short period of time in my new role, it is clear to me that AgriQuality is overflowing with skill, talent and a passion for the future of the Company. I'm a positive leader and a New Zealand-enthusiast. I think it'll be a good match."

Mr Morgan is also Chairman of NZ Pharmaceuticals Limited and Clearlite Ltd and was formerly the President of the NZ Chemical Industry Council.

AgriQuality New Zealand is a supplier of testing, analysis, verification, training and quality assurance systems to the food and agribusiness industries. The Company has 600 staff and 58 sites throughout New Zealand.


ENDS

www.agriquality.co.nz

Editors' note: Photos of John Morgan available on request

For further information please contact:

Bert Aldridge
Ph: 04 4999 111
Fax: 04 4999 222

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

AgriQuality New Zealand www.agriquality.co.nz


· Established 1 November 1998
· State-owned enterprise formed out of MAF Quality Management
· 600 staff, 58 sites throughout New Zealand
· Chief Executive Officer: John Morgan
· Directors:
Sue Suckling (Chair)
Jim Scotland (Deputy Chair)
Peter Wilson
Hester Cooper
Chris Day


AgriQuality New Zealand provides the food and agribusiness industries with credible, independent and authoritative expertise in testing, analysis, verification and quality assurance services. AgriQuality New Zealand is organised into four business groups - Assurance Services, Emergency Response, Farm Network and Lab Network.

Assurance Services works with producers, processors and retailers to provide systems, training and advice about achieving standards, enhancing quality and adding value throughout the supply chain.

Emergency Response has a generic emergency response capability and carries out surveillance for exotic plant and animal pests and diseases.

Farm Network offers advisory and technical services that help to identify and control disease, as well as addressing other production limiting factors on farms. The business group has testing, consultancy and diagnostic capabilities.

Lab Network's services include microbiological, chemical and physical analyses for a wide range of industries including dairy, processed foods, agrichemical, environmental, wool, meat, seafood, beverage, pharmaceutical and retail.

These four business groups comprise 16 businesses, which offer customers a diverse and integrated set of skills. AgriQuality's 600 staff operate from 58 sites around New Zealand. This nation-wide base and pool of technical knowledge and practical capabilities means we work in a wide range of industries and situations - in the paddock, the processing plant and at the retail outlet.

ENDS

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