PALMERSTON NORTH: Global Food System Rountable
Monday, 3 May 2021 1:00pm - 2:30pm
The Globe Theatre, Palmerston North

In the wake of Covid-19, the global food supply system is faced with new disruptions, dynamics and challenges, which is testing the resilience and adaptability of the domestic agrifood landscape. This interactive roundtable brings together diplomats and experts in production, trade, logistics, and innovation. The objective is to discuss and raise public awareness about the New Zealand agrifood landscape’s transformations in a global context affected by the pandemic. This session aims to understand the interaction between global and local, and how international events translate and cement into a daily farmer’s life, economies, and practices.


Professor Nicola Shadbolt Delivering farm and agribusiness management research and education - risk, strategy, business analysis, cooperatives; Elected director of Fonterra Cooperative; Director of the International Food & Agribusiness Management Association and represents NZ in the International Farm Comparison Network (IFCN) in Dairying.  Editor of International Food and Agribusiness Management Review and International Journal of Agricultural Management. Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. An in-depth understanding of global farming and agribusiness. Awarded Officer of NZ Order of Merit for services to agribusiness in 2018.

Dr Nick Smith has a background in mathematical modelling, undertaking his PhD using predictive models to examine dynamics in the human intestinal microbiome. Nick’s current research is part of the Sustainable Nutrition Initiative at the Riddet Institute, developing the DELTA Model: a world-leading model to investigate sustainable nutrient production and what is possible, practical and optimal from the global food system. 

Prof Warren McNabb is Deputy Director of the Riddet Institute, a New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE), hosted by Massey University. His research interests include nutrition for health, sustainable nutrition, human-microbiome interactions, physiology and metabolism. Warren leads several programmes including the MBIE-funded, New Zealand Milks Mean More and the Sustainable Nutrition Initiative. Warren is also an Associate Investigator in the HVN National Science Challenge, Healthy Digestion and Infant Health. His focus is on food structures-nutrient digestion interactions, clinical investigations of nutrition, microbe-human interactions, and gastrointestinal function. Warren has had a long career in food science and has published >140 scientific papers with >6400 citations. Warren is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences, a member of the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology, a member of the American Society of Nutrition and the Canadian Nutrition Society, and has served on national and international research advisory and funding panels.

Associate Professor Jaspreet Singh. Jaspreet’s research attempts to answer two important fundamental questions: “Can we (our food industry) manufacture superior plant-based functional ingredients and foods for global export market?” and “Is it possible to develop efficient and disruptive food processing technologies, which contribute towards solving the problem of food sustainability we are going to face in the next 30 years?” 

More specifically his research program focuses on studying internal microstructure of natural and processed plant-foods, organisation of native starch and protein in them and how it relates to the kinetics of glucose release and the release of nutrients during oral-gastro-small intestinal digestion in vitro. Based on inspirations from natural structure of plant-foods, he is keen to develop new technologies/processes to create “Biomimetic or Natural-like Processed Foods” with superior functionality and health benefits. This unique approach involves the utilisation of ‘whole of plant’ material rather than a single fractionated plant component which contribute towards future food sustainability and minimisation of food processing waste. NZ’s agro-food industry, growers and our people are expected to get significant benefits from this research.

HE Sudesh Maniar, Singapore High Commissioner to New Zealand

Sudesh Maniar is Singapore’s High Commissioner to New Zealand. He presented his credentials to the Governor-General of New Zealand on 22 August 2019. Prior to his current appointment, Sudesh was Director-General of the Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2013 to June 2019, and served as Singapore’s Non-Resident Ambassador to Timor-Leste from 2015 to January 2019. During his time as Director-General of the Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Directorate, Sudesh was the Singapore lead negotiator for the Enhanced Partnership between Singapore and New Zealand which was concluded in 2019.

 Sudesh joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1997 after a ten-year career at the Central Bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore. He was appointed Director of the International Economics Directorate in 2001. From 2002 to 2005, he served as Deputy Permanent Representative in the Permanent Mission of Singapore to the United Nations in Geneva. Upon his return from Geneva, Sudesh reassumed the post of Director of the International Economics Directorate until 2006. He was Director/Special Duties (International Economics) in 2007, and subsequently seconded to the Asia-Europe Foundation as Director of Public Affairs until 2009. Sudesh was Director of the Public Affairs Directorate in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 2009-2013.

 Sudesh graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Economics (Honours) from the London School of Economics and Political Science, United Kingdom in 1986.

Murray Holdaway 5th generation Dairy Farmer, in the Tararua Region, where a 50/50 sharemilker runs the 440-cow operation. Is currently President of the Manawatu/Rangitikei Province of Federated Farmers as well as a Trustee on the Rural Family Support Trust, Chair of the Rural Coordinator Group emergency management committee and Treasurer for the Don Scott Trust. Previous positions include Dairy Section Chair Manawatu/Rangitikei Federated Farmers, Fonterra Directors Remuneration Committee, Fonterra Milk Price Working Group as well as on organising committees for numerous Massey Dairy Farmers and Dairy3 Conference’s. Avid sports fan, and wannabe golf player. Married to Lynda for 44 years, two adult children and one grandchild.