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Conference presenters

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Suresh DeCosta
Director of Food Safety, Lipman Family Farms (US)

Suresh DeCosta is recognized for his expertise in food safety management and driving industry change. At Lipman Family Farms, Suresh has implemented a number of risk reduction strategies, based on his prior experience at McDonald’s and Fresh Express (US). Suresh serves on the technical committee of the Center for Produce Safety (US).

Dr Robert Premier
Microbiologist/Food Scientist, Global FS Pty Ltd/PMFresh

Dr Robert Premier has over 20 years’ experience in microbiological food safety, in particular Listeria monocytogenes, and has a strong track record in improving food safety practices in the Asia Pacific.

Dr Craig Shadbolt
Manager, Food Incident Response, Biosecurity & Food Safety Compliance, NSW Department of Primary Industries

Dr Craig Shadbolt coordinates the NSW DPI state and national responses to food incidents, including the recent melon associated outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes.

Brendan Hayes
Senior Product Technologist, Coles

Brendan Hayes has more than 25 years’ experience in the fresh produce sector a grower, buyer and technologist. His current work at Coles is improving growing standards of fresh produce to improve food safety for the Australian consumer.

Andrew Shaw
Environment Coordinator, AUSVEG

Andrew Shaw works with the Australian vegetable industry to integrate sustainable production and resource management practices.

Joseph Ekman
Technical Director, Fresh Produce Group

Joseph Ekman is Fresh Produce Group’s Technical Director and leads the team responsible for food safety and quality compliance, product technology and quality control.

Professor Robyn McConchie
Professor of Horticulture

Robyn is director of the ARC Training Centre for Food Safety in the Fresh Produce Industry which manages nine projects across the supply chain, and trains the next generation of industry-ready food safety researchers.

Dr Mark Bradbury
Post-doctoral research associate, University of Sydney

Mark has joined the ARC Training Centre for Food Safety in the Fresh Produce Industry as a post-doctoral associate and previously worked at CSIRO. He has food safety expertise in the fields of microbiological and molecular analysis.

Dr Hayriye Bozkurt Cekmer
Post-doctoral research associate, University of Sydney

Hayriye received a Fullbright scholarship to undertake a PhD in food safety focusing on predictive modelling and thermal inactivation. She is currently a post-doctoral associate in the ARC Training Centre for Food Safety in the Fresh Produce Industry.

Dr Anthony Kachenko
R&D Team Leader, Hort Innovation

Anthony Kachenko is the Research & Development Team Leader at Horticulture Innovation Australia. Anthony manages research and development, including the health, nutrition and food safety portfolio.

Steve Hather
Director, The Recall Institute

Steve Hather was a co-author of the international standards for product safety (ISO 10377) and product recall (ISO 10393) and has over 25 years of experience in risk management, product recall and crisis management.

Kashif Ahmed
National Microbiology Manager, Symbio Laboratories

Kashif Ahmed manages operations of seven testing laboratories around Australia. Kashif has been in the testing industry for over 25 years, providing technical and operational management for major commercial and manufacturing testing laboratories servicing the food, agricultural, environmental and therapeutic goods industries.

Sylvain Charlebois
Professor, Food Distribution and Policy Faculty of Management Professor, Faculty of Agriculture Dalhousie University, Canada
Dr. Sylvain Charlebois is a Professor in food distribution and policy in the Faculties of Management and Agriculture at Dalhousie University in Halifax. He is also the Interim Scientific Director of the Institute of Agri-food Analytics, also located in Halifax. Known as “The Food Professor”, his current research interest lies in the broad area of food distribution, security and safety. He is one of the world's most cited scholars in food supply chain management, food value chains and traceability. He has authored five books on global food systems, his most recent one published in 2017 by Wiley-Blackwell entitled “Food Safety, Risk Intelligence and Benchmarking”. He has also published over 500 peer-reviewed journal articles in several academic publications.