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Our People

Jessica Purbrick-Herbst

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Executive Officer

Jessica has held senior leadership roles in private and not-for-profit organisations across a broad range of agricultural, disability, social purpose start-ups, education and research sectors. Her work along the agribusiness value chain has enabled industry collaborations to deliver real-world practical outcomes.

Jessica brings to FPSC A-NZ skills in stakeholder engagement, marketing-communication- media, business development and investment, advocacy, policy, operations and governance. She has qualifications from New York University, Melbourne University and the University of New England.

Jessica is an expert advisor to the Victorian Rural Women’s Network, a start-up mentor and volunteers at FareShare. She was a founding director of Freshcare Limited, established Women in Horticulture, interviewed animal activists in New York, worked for Mother Teresa in Calcutta and delivered outreach to near-release prisoners at Dhurringile Prison.

Richard Bennett

Food Safety and Science Manager 

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Richard Bennett is the Food Safety and Science Manager for the FPSC. Richard has had a full career working in numerous aspects of horticulture including in the nursery, seed and fruit processing industries, and as an industry development officer, trainer, agronomist and executive officer for a number of fruit grower associations. Richard has qualifications in orchard management, applied science, agribusiness and food safety.

As a technical horticulturalist, Richard became increasingly concerned that many of those making demands of growers or involved in implementing food safety systems did not generally understand agronomy, food safety risk, how to communicate with growers and the impacts of their expectations. Richard has worked on numerous resources to improve the food safety culture and performance of Australian horticulture. Richard is regarded as a go-to person on quality assurance, food safety, environmental management, product standards and specifications, product identification and traceability, business continuity, compliance issues and crisis management. Richard has developed and implemented Approved Supplier Programs mainly for processors and implemented SQF 2000 and Freshcare in fruit, vegetable, nut and wine grape businesses.