Lisa is a passionate Food Scientist with extensive local and global experience working in a variety of multinationals from Unilever, Pioneerfoods, Mars Inc and Woolworths and across the food FMCG environment (ingredients, manufacturing and retail). She has a particular interest in ensuring the application of science and technology is meaningful for both people and planet. Lisa recently returned to South Africa after working for Mars Inc in Europe and is currently the R&D Executive for Mane Flavours – South and East Africa. Lisa is completing her PhD studies through the University of Stellenbosch Food Science faculty, exploring the impact of major shifts in food consumption patterns since 1994 on the South African food and beverage industry.
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Inspired by reading the ingredients list on the side of cereal boxes, Uriel Filiba pursued a degree in Food Science. While learning, he realised that working with heavily processed food is actually uninspiring.Uriel has worked in the craft cheese industry and is currently working with cold-pressed juice. He has made it his mission to work with real food only and his life objective is to instill health into broader society. Uriel also plays the banjo & synthesizer and gives great high-fives!
Simon holds a BSc (Hons) in Economics and Politics and is a chartered Accountant, having gained his qualification through KPMG in London in 2005. Subsequent to KPMG, he spent four and a half years in Investment Banking at Canaccord Genuity (formerly Hawkpoint Partners), a leading UK Mergers and Acquisitions advisory firm with a focus on mid-cap and private equity deals. Simon joined Leaf Capital in 2012 where he was a member of the Leaf Private Equity Management team that now manages Infinitus Holdings as a stand-alone business. Simon’s broad transaction experience spans equity and debt capital raisings, M&A, corporate restructurings and BEE deals across multiple sectors.
Simon is a Director of Infinitus Holdings and a member of the Boards of Vital Health Foods, Wellness Warehouse, TrenStar and Energy Amplified.
Neil Taylor is an experienced executive and General Counsel with strong M&A and operational experience in emerging markets, including Africa and China. His nearly 30 years of experience includes: as General Counsel of NASDAQ 100 listed Millicom International Cellular where he led the teams that divested Millicom’s Asian assets and as Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer of global electronics distributor Avnet, Inc. At Avnet, he developed and rolled out a best-in-class global Ethics and Compliance program rollout throughout the Americas, Asia/Pacific and EMEA regions. Since 2010, Neil has been primarily focused on Africa, including roles as Chief Legal Officer of Helios Towers Africa and CEO of Econet Power.
Neil holds a J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and a B.A. in Political Science from Indiana University.
Donovan is the Director of ProVeg South Africa, the South African chapter of ProVeg International; a leading international food awareness organisation working to promote plant-based food options across four continents. Before moving to ProVeg to found their South African chapter, he was the Brand Manager at The Fry Family Food Co. (Fry’s), South Africa’s leading manufacturer of plant-based meat replacements, with distribution to over 30 countries.
Donovan is a passionate advocate for a more conscious lifestyle, and believes in highlighting the health, environmental, economic and ethical benefits of eating a more plant-based diet and moving towards following a vegan lifestyle. Before becoming involved in the plant-based food arena Donovan held various financial management, accounting, audit and advisory roles. He had a Bachelor of Business Science with Honours in Finance from UCT, and Honours in Accounting from UNISA.
Angela’s work mainly focuses on sustainable socioeconomic development in Sub-Saharan Africa – more specifically in tertiary education, entrepreneurship & social innovation, and sustainable food systems. As a research consultant at the Sustainability Institute she works on improving sustainability practices, mostly related to food systems challenges. As a facilitator she helps teams navigate complex issues and unlock innovative solutions, and as a social innovation and entrepreneurship practitioner she helps manage projects that support entrepreneurial development.
In her spare time she also dabbles in start-ups, investing time to help small businesses get off the ground. To satisfy her creative needs she contributes to people’s special life moments through her seasonal chef business – Private Chef Cape Town. Angela holds a degree in BA in Value and Policy Studies and a MPhil in Sustainable Development. She is a passionate global citizen and therefore work and contribute in areas of social and sustainable development to promote a more equitable future for all.
I’m looking at implementing an intensive program which mimics the natural movement patterns of wild herbivores on the plains and the birds that follow them. My proposed methodology has been developed from the teachings of Allan Savory and his work in fighting desertification (his TED talk is a much watch), Joel Salatin (His book “Folks this Ain’t Normal” did much to shift my thinking) and modern farmers like Justin Rhodes (See his YouTube Channel here) and Richard Perkins (See his Youtube Channel here).
The underlying philosophy is based on diversity and working with nature not against it. Ruminants have a very special way of processing grass and if we intensively control graze them they will keep the grasses in their rapid growth state (without overgrazing) and fertilise the land in the process. The chickens follow and act as pest control and serve the function of manure spreading. The end result is hyper local premium grass fed cows/sheep and pasture raised chickens and truly free range eggs but the real benefit is to the land. Underlying everything is the desire to be a “Soil Farmer”. I believe thinking like this shifts the value and economics of farming and encourages more holistic management.
Coupled with this I believe that many of the challenges facing farming, like security, locality, seasonality, access to markets, management, quality control and even political uncertainty around larger farm land in South Africa, can be overcome by de-centralising operations and crowd-sourcing production. I believe that technology can now provide the necessary network and platform tools to co-ordinate and aggregate production across a “disparate farm”. I believe that this model can therefore scale and that a collective of tiny farms could create the critical mass and economies of scale required to engage with off-takers and make a meaningful positive impact on people, planet and profit…and purpose.
6 years of experience in asset management, auditing, finance & operational management corporate finance and private equity; Former PwC and Sanlam professional; and
Multi-sectoral transaction experience in SA, Namibia, Mauritius, India, Australia, Europe, UK, USA and Bermuda Partner, Agri-Vie Fund.
Justin Smith is head of the Business Development Unit at WWF South Africa, overseeing business partnerships, marketing and fundraising activities for the organization.
Justin was previously employed at Woolworths Holdings leading the Good Business Journey (Sustainability Programme) – responsible for the strategy, structure and integration across the business to deliver it’s over 200 targets in transformation, social development, environmental issues and climate change across its African and Australasian businesses.
Prior to this Justin was head of Governance and Sustainability at Nedbank Group, an associate in Edward Nathan and Friedland (Pty) Ltd Environmental Law and Sustainability Services department; and a risk manager at Standard Bank Group Risk Management.
Justin holds a B Comm Law (cum Laude) ; LLB degree (cum Laude); B Comm Honours in Financial Management (cum Laude) (All University of Pretoria) and LLM (University of South Africa (UNISA) – Environmental law, International Economic Law, and International law.
Gunnar is currently Associate-Professor and Head of the Department of Food Science, Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He completed his BSc, MSc and PhD at Stellenbosch, and has been working full-time within the Department in an academic capacity since 2003. He is passionate about working with students and instilling in them the basic principles of food science and the important role it plays in sustainably feeding the world. He is an active researcher in the field of food processing wastewater treatment, sustainable water use in the food industry, food safety of irrigated fresh produce and irrigation water disinfection systems, as well as food processing. He is particularly interested in the inter-relatedness of the many scientific disciplines within food science, specifically related to food and nutrition security.
He has also been actively involved with food science associations. He has been involved with the South African Association for Food Science and Technology (SAAFoST) since 1997, serving in many roles, including President from 2010 – 2013. He also serves on several international committees of the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFoST) and the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) in the USA. He is passionate about advancing the science of food, debunking food myths and pseudoscience, science and media communications and educating consumers.