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Our Board

Michael Worthington

Michael Worthington retired as CEO of Produce Marketing Association of Australia New Zealand (PMA A-NZ) in October 2016. Michael was extensively involved with Robyn McConchie of the University of Sydney in the establishment of the Fresh Produce Safety Centre.

Michael has 30 years of senior management experience in large scale fresh produce businesses with operational experience in a broad range of enterprises particularly in production, processing, supply chain logistics, sales & marketing and investment.

Professor Robyn McConchie
Company Secretary

Professor Robyn McConchie is Head of the Department of Plant and Food Sciences in the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment at the University of Sydney. She has been involved in postharvest research and education for over 30 years working on minimising pesticide use, and more recently food safety, grain storage and development of functional foods from waste. Robyn has led many international research and capacity building projects in postharvest and linking farmers to markets across SE Asia, the Pacific and Africa. For the past three years, she has been working to address food security issues across 22 African countries, through improved storage and safety of grains.

Darren Keating
Member Representative

Darren Keating is the CEO of PMA A-NZ, representing buyers and sellers from every segment of the fresh produce and floral supply chain. PMA-ANZ strives to assist businesses to increase their sales of fresh and safe produce to regional and global consumers, while also assisting with the development of internal business capabilities.

Darren has nearly 20 years of experience in development, management and executive roles in the agricultural sector, and holds a Bachelor of Science (Rural Science) from the University of New England.

Joseph Ekman

Joseph Ekman is Fresh Produce Group’s Technical Director, responsible for leading the team responsible for food safety and quality compliance, product technology and quality control. His role is to provide technical security for Fresh Produce Group’s diverse and innovative fresh produce programs.

With an honours degree in postharvest management of fresh produce and 28 years of research, extension and industry experience, Joe brings a unique blend of theoretical and practical knowledge to his role. Joe is a qualified food safety trainer and auditor. He is a founding member of the national horticulture industry working group that researched, designed and delivered fresh produce sector food safety guidelines and contributed to the design and development of the Freshcare on-farm food safety program.

Joe’s history in research, extension and technology transfer roles plus direct industry experience means he understands the opportunities and challenges for identifying risks and translating scientific research into industry practice.

Roger Gilbertson

Roger  Gilbertson is the Technical Manager (Market Access & Regulatory Affairs) for New Zealand Apples & Pears and consults to a range of businesses in the fresh produce sector. Roger has worked at the forefront of New Zealand horticulture and the broader plants industry for nearly 30 years since graduating with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours) in the late 1980s.

He has transitioned a number of companies since the early 2000s to very customer focused businesses and successfully integrated market and customer requirements in these businesses as part of everyday practice. In late 2011 he left Zespri as their Market Assurance Manager to work more broadly in the fresh produce sector including his current role.

Roger appreciates how the FPSC role looks to shaping the part food safety plays in the bigger fresh produce picture. He wants to ensure the risks for the fresh produce sector are well understood, and programs are efficiently implemented in line with managing these risks.

Dr Anthony Kachenko

Anthony Kachenko is the Research & Development Team Leader at Horticulture Innovation Australia. He is responsible for leading a team that manages research projects that drive innovation within Australian horticultural industries.

Anthony has lived and breathed Australian horticulture for 20 years with extensive experience along the agribusiness value chain including technical production, strategy development, project management, communication and successful delivery of results, outcomes and solutions with customers and employees. Anthony holds a PhD in Agricultural Science, a Masters in Agribusiness and an Honours Degree in Horticultural Science.

Anthony believes building and maintaining strong relationships with key stakeholders is imperative in delivering tenable outcomes and is passionate about implementing strategies to enhance the adoption of research that leads to meaningful change.

Dr Jocelyn Eason

Jocelyn Eason is the General Manager Science – Food Innovation, at The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research. She has a PhD in Plant Physiology from Otago University and an MBA from Massey University. Dr Eason has over 25 years’ experience as both a practising and leading researcher in the field of postharvest science of horticultural crops. Over this time Dr Eason’s achievements include developing and implementing a new product development system for premium fresh vegetable products, launching nutrition and health benefit labelled fresh vegetable products in NZ, implementing a communication strategy for nutrition & health benefits of horticultural foods, and developing a mechanism (process and series of tools) to manage investment in science.

Since 2012, Dr Eason has managed 140 scientists focused on food production from horticultural, arable and marine bioresources. The teams’ expertise in biological chemistry and bioactives, bioresources engineering, materials science and polymer functionality enables the team to work with partners and achieve value creation from the whole bioresource.

Brendan Hayes

Brendan has 26 years’ experience in the fresh produce sector. He has spent time working in various roles within category management teams, growing teams and technical management through the UK, Europe, Israel and South Africa.

Brendan is currently working in the Coles Fresh Produce Team as a category manager having previously looked after Responsible sourcing and technical management. Brendan has been in Australia for five years working with the grower base to improve Growing Standards, Food Safety, Environmental Impacts and Ethical issues that lead to better fresh produce for Australian consumers.

Brendan is also a member of the HARPS team and the PMA ANZ Science and Technical task force.