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New chairman for NZ Food and Grocery Council

New chairman for NZ Food and Grocery Council

Pierre van Heerden, the General Manager of Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing, is the new Chairman of the NZ Food & Grocery Council.

He replaces George Adams, CEO of Coca-Cola Amatil (NZ) Ltd, who is stepping down after six years on the board and a four-year term as chairman.

Mr van Heerden has been co-vice-chair of FGC since 2010 after joining the board in 2009. He has been General Manager of Sanitarium in New Zealand since 2007.

Mr van Heerden says FGC has made great strides under the chairmanship of George Adams and pays tribute to the work he has done to transform the organisation.

“George has done a fantastic job as chair and I speak for the Board in voicing my appreciation. It’s an honour to follow his term, which has seen the transformation of our industry advocacy body.”

Katherine Rich, FGC’s Chief Executive, also praised the contribution of George Adams.

“The food and grocery industry has benefited greatly from the vision George Adams has brought to the chair and his focus on the challenges faced by the grocery sector, which is such a significant contributor to New Zealand’s continued prosperity.

“FGC is extremely fortunate that George has passed the baton to someone of the calibre of Pierre, and I look forward to continuing to work closely with him.

“As one of our two vice-chairs (with Scott MacKay of Design Print Partners), Pierre has worked alongside George in the thick of issues concerning the industry, and will continue the important work FGC does on behalf of our member companies in the food and grocery industry.”

FGC also paid tribute to the major contribution of Peter McClure of Fonterra Brands who steps down from the Board after 14 years of dedicated service.

About Pierre van Heerden

Pierre has 30 years’ experience in the food, FMCG, and manufacturing industries. He is a Chartered Accountant (CA(SA)) and FCPA. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Andrews University in the USA, as well as Honours Bachelor of Commerce, Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science, and Master of Business Leadership (MBL) degrees from the University of South Africa.

After completing articles with Price Waterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers), he spent 10 years as Financial Director of a private group of companies in South Africa. He joined Sanitarium in Australia in 1996 and has held a diverse range of management positions, including Operations Manager, GM Development and Innovation, GM Logistics, and Managing Director Dick Smith Foods. He was appointed General Manager of Sanitarium Health & Wellbeing in New Zealand in March 2007. Over the past 20 years he has also served on numerous company and charitable boards. Currently he serves on various boards and also chaired the Food & Grocery Council Health and Technical Working Group.

Pierre was awarded the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology (NZIFST) 2012 Food Industry Award “Excellence in Leadership” for the outstanding, highly dedicated, and effective leadership he demonstrated in dealing with the many issues that confronted his company, the wider food industry, and the local community after the Christchurch earthquakes.


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