Jane Bennett has over 30 years of experience working in agrifood businesses across Tasmania and the UK. As the founding Managing director of both Ashgrove Cheese and TasFoods Jane has extensive experience in building and nurturing premium Tasmanian food brands.
Jane was a pioneer of the Tasmanian agritourism sector and has developed a deep understanding of the value of the Tasmanian brand for our food and beverage sector through serving eight years as Chair of the Tasmanian Food Industry Advisory Council to the State Government and ten years on the Brand Tasmania Council. In 2008 Jane undertook a Nuffield Scholarship to study the Role of Regionality in the Marketing and Branding of Food, visiting successful place of origin brands across Europe and North America.
Jane Chairs the Board of Hop Products Australia and is a director of Nuffield Australia.
Andrew left Launceston as an 18 year old in 1992 then returned in 2009 and decided to stay. While he was away he was involved in medical research in Sydney and Oxford and then water and environment in Hampshire and East Anglia (UK).
He is now involved in the family businesses, and can be found most days at Neil Pitt’s Menswear. He is President of the Launceston Chamber of Commerce, and President of Harvest Launceston Community Farmers Market. He completed the Tasmanian Leaders Program in 2014 and was part of a group that brought the Welcome Dinner Project to Tasmania.
Over the last few years he has been a driving force behind the designation of Launceston and North Tasmania as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy.
A serial entrepreneur who has founded and helped run numerous businesses in the wine, tourism, hospitality and service industries with her husband Rod, she continues to drive growth in the entrepreneurial culture and since 1997 has made a significant contributions to strategy, marketing and agritourism development Statewide and Nationally. She was one of the founders of the Harvest Launceston Community Farmers Market in 2011, nurturing it to being one of the most respected in the country.
Serving on the Industry Reference group for the Centre for Food Innovation, a collaboration between the University of Tasmania, the CSIRO and the Defense Forces, inspired her to drive the FermenTas project for Northern Tasmania. The Hub will serve as a ‘cluster’ economic development driver, helping unlock the value of the agribusiness sector and create the businesses and jobs for the future.
Rayne van den Berg
As Chief Financial Officer and member of Forico Pty Ltd’s Executive team, Rayne van den Berg contributes strategic planning and oversight to Tasmania’s largest plantation forestry Estate. Rayne has over 20 years’ experience as a Chartered Accountant, which has seen her lead teams, drive change and create value across a broad range of industries both in Australia and internationally.
Rayne has a strong interest in corporate sustainability. Last year, Rayne inspired and led a multidisciplinary team to develop Forico’s first two Natural Capital Reports – some of the first of their kind in the world to articulate the value of nature. She is currently developing a Human and Social Capital Report to measure the business’ wider contributions and responsibilities to its workforce and within the communities in which it operates.
Caitlyn Lee has over 6 years experience as a Chartered Accountant in public practice, before recently moving into management accounting for a not-for-profit organisation in the health industry. This experience has exposed her to a number of businesses and industries across the country, with a specialisation area of agriculture and farming.
Having grown up in a family run business supporting the dairy industry in Tasmania, Caitlyn understands and is passionate about the processes that underpin and contribute to local produce.
Chris’s experience lies in the tourism and travel sectors, having worked for over 25 years across all facets of these interrelated industries.
He started his career as the Marketing Manager for Taieri Gorge Railway, Dunedin New Zealand before heading up the International Sales team for the national rail network.
Chris relocated to Melbourne where he worked with travel wholesale companies before returning to New Zealand, where he held the role of General Manager Marketing of Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism, the largest regional tourism organisation in the country.
Arriving in Tasmania in early 2008, he worked with Tourism Tasmania as Group Manager Destination Marketing. Currently Chris is the CEO of Visit Northern Tasmania.