Working together to build the future of Australian dairy
René Dedoncker is the Managing Director of Fonterra Australia – one of the country’s largest dairy companies that is responsible for collecting around 20 per cent of Australia’s milk from 1,300 dairy farmers and processing this milk at one of Fonterra’s seven factories into dairy foods for domestic and international consumption.
He joined the Fonterra Co-operative in 2006 and has held global leadership roles with responsibility for managing businesses and customers in over 50 countries. Most recently René was responsible for leading the strategic agenda for Fonterra’s Global Brands, Research & Development, and Food Safety & Quality. He successfully led Fonterra’s global foodservice business to double digit growth using world-leading technology, innovative products and a breakthrough business model. He is particularly passionate about driving positive change and empowering leaders to grow.
Prior to joining Fonterra René worked in senior sales, marketing and operations positions with the Mars Corporation.
René holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from Charles Sturt University, NSW, Australia. He has served as non-executive Director on the Riddet Institute Board since March, 2016; is on the Gardiner Dairy Foundation Board as the manufacturers representative Director; is on the board of Darnum Dairy Products a joint venture between Darnum Park Pty Ltd and Beingmate (Australia) Pty Ltd; and is on Monash University’s Food and Agriculture Initiative Advisory Board. Born in Belgium and raised in Orange NSW, René lives in Melbourne with his wife and two children.
Dairy is a highly nutritious food, and today, around 406 billion litres are consumed globally every year. With a growing global population, a rising middle class, and increased urbanisation, that number is projected to grow by more than two per cent each year to around 465 billion litres by 2020.
The countries that don’t have enough milk will look to countries that have a surplus to meet their demand, and Australia is one of those countries. But simply selling our surplus supply in the global marketplace will only ever achieve commodity returns, which is why Fonterra is innovating to create value along the entire supply chain, from the farm to the finished product.
Fonterra Australia Managing Director René Dedoncker will speak on how Fonterra is helping to build the future for Australian dairy and capture that demand through value-added dairy foods. He will also outline the challenges and opportunities before Australian dairy and what can be done to facilitate even greater prosperity for Australia’s third-largest rural industry.