Speakers – Good Food Forum 2016



Emily Dowding-Smith – Transformation Leader – Restorative, Sustainable Business Network

Emily leads the Sustainable Business Network’s work on food systems. She is a resource management and environment lawyer and environmental scientist (MSc/LLB). She worked as a lawyer for Simpson Grierson, studied a masters at four European universities and did her dissertation on seed practices of gardeners in Havana, Cuba. Her European-based work included working for ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) in Bonn, Germany where she convened the 3rd and 4th Resilient Cities conferences and in 2013 created the Resilient Urban Food Systems Forum connecting cities around the world on climate change and food resilience. In New Zealand for the SBN she facilitates the National Good Food Network, runs the Good Food Boost mentoring programme, and works with food businesses on food procurement and food waste.


Grant Rosewarne – CEO, NZ King Salmon

Grant has worked in most FMCG categories including dairy, wine, breakfast cereals, edible oils, condiments/sauces, coffee/tea and fresh produce, and all food service segments from cafés to fine dining. His international business expertise spans Britain, Europe and Australasia, including such blue chip companies as Unilever, Cerebos and Douwe Egberts/Sara Lee.
Grant was appointed CEO of New Zealand King Salmon in 2009 after a successful career culminating as Managing Director of Douwe Egberts UK and Chairman of Sara Lee Corporation UK/Ireland, as well as serving as Chairman of the British Coffee Association. Grant’s original mission at New Zealand King Salmon was to lift its product from a premium commodity to a worldwide branded food delicacy. With the company’s Ōra King brand now on 400 of the world’s top menus, the challenge is now to take NZ King Salmon to significant scale and achieve cost competiveness.

 Lisa King

Lisa King – Founder, Eat My Lunch

After 15 years marketing some of the country’s biggest food brands, Lisa decided to put her corporate experience towards doing something that would make a positive impact in the community. With a mission to ensure no children go to school hungry and the belief that clever business solutions can solve big social issues, Eat My Lunch was launched in June 2015. For every lunch you buy, Eat My lunch gives a lunch to a Kiwi kid in need. In just seven months Eat My Lunch has made over 200,000 lunches, with 100,000 given to kids in 30 low-decile schools in Auckland. Eat My Lunch has now expanded to Hamilton and will be launched in Wellington in mid-2016. Its efforts haven’t gone unrecognised as it won the Excellence in Social Innovation at the 2015 New Zealand Innovator Awards, Communicating Sustainability Award at the 2015 NZI Sustainable Business Network Awards, a Local Hero Medal at the 2016 New Zealand Local Hero of the Year, and it was nominated for New Zealand Herald’s 2015 New Zealander of the Year.

paul johnston v2

Paul Johnston – Supply Chain & Distribution Manager for Life Health Foods NZ Ltd

Paul has a wealth of food industry experience in manufacturing and the grocery supply chain, especially for plant-based foods that meet consumers’ needs for foods that are healthy, tasty, nutritional and readily available. Founding Bean Supreme in a vegetarian/health food vacuum with his brother in 1984, he has championed Soy products with a string of innovative products and awards. In 2006 he brokered a deal with the newly formed Life Health Foods, to buy both Bean Supreme and Naked Organics and has since helped quadruple the volumes of these brands along with Lisa’s Hummus, where today all three brands are clear category leaders. Paul is passionate about sustainable values-driven businesses and building relationships based on trust, opportunity, education, integrity and personal responsibility.


Dr Wilma Waterlander – Research Fellow, Heart Foundation 

Wilma is a Heart Foundation Research Fellow within the National Institute for Health Innovation at The University of Auckland. She obtained her PhD in Health Sciences from the VU University Amsterdam on the feasibility and effectiveness of food pricing strategies to stimulate healthy eating. Wilma’s current research is on food systems, where she follows products from farm to fork. In addition, she is working on a Health Research Council project examining the effects of various food taxes and subsidies on health outcomes. This project uses the 3-dimensional Virtual Supermarket that Wilma and her team developed to enable experimental research in a supermarket setting. Wilma is also working on a project with the British Heart Foundation at the University of Oxford, modelling optimal food price changes for both public health and environmental sustainability outcomes. Wilma is passionate about doing research that makes a real difference to society and policy and she is involved in various international networks, including the International Council for Science. 


Angus Brown – Business Development Manager, New Zealand Food Innovation Network

Angus is a Business Development Manager for New Zealand Food Innovation Network based out of The FoodBowl, New Zealand’s most high-tech, food and beverage production facility. Angus is an advisor to companies on new food and beverage projects and can connect them with an expert team at The FoodBowl for rapid prototyping and early stage commercial production, or with a capability provider depending on their needs. Specialising in the beverage sector, Angus brings an eclectic mix of marketing, innovation and category knowledge from experience with small start-up companies, niche distribution agencies, and global heavy hitters. Originating from the Hawkes Bay means he has a solid network of food and beverage companies at his back doorstep. Angus is passionate about New Zealand’s Food and Beverage industry and has his sights set on growing high value exports.

Fiona Curran

Dr Fiona Curran-Cournane – Land and Soil Scientist, Auckland Council

Fiona has been working at Auckland Council since 2011, after the completion of her PhD in Environmental Science at AgResearch and Lincoln University. Her research interests include evaluating the distribution of Auckland’s highly productive land and the past, present and future development pressures confronting this finite resource. She also looks at land and development pressures, impacts on food production and how land use changes affect rural and farming communities. In August 2015, Fiona was appointed to an Honorary Academic position at The University of Auckland in the School of Biological Sciences.