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PMA Australia-New Zealand welcomes new Chair

Ben Hoodless, Managing Director of ElementAG, has been appointed Chair of PMA Australia-New Zealand Limited (PMA A-NZ), replacing Katie de Villiers, who has retired by rotation. 

Ben has recently launched Element AG, a local business that is partnering with international ag technology innovators to commercialize new solutions with a focus on the produce industry in Australia and New Zealand. Prior to this, Ben was General Manager – ANZ Vegetable Seeds Bayer Crop Science, he has over 20 years of experience working in Australia, New Zealand, China, and South Korea for large multinational R&D companies. Ben holds degrees in both Horticultural Science and Commerce. Throughout his career, he has held roles in sales, marketing, portfolio management, strategy, and executive leadership roles locally and across the Asia Pacific region. Ben prides himself on his can-do attitude, strategic mindset, and building engaged and high-performing teams.

Mr. Hoodless said, “It is a privilege to take the chair position at PMA A-NZ. It’s a fantastic member organization that brings the produce industry together around critical issues. I look forward to working with the PMA A-NZ team, board, and members to drive forward our strategy based around the key pillars of food safety, tech & Innovation, sustainability, industry talent, and networking. 

Working with AUSVEG on continuous improvement of the flagship industry conference, Hort Connections. Finally working with our parent organization to ensure members in A-NZ get access to the latest insights from the produce industry globally.".

Ben is an experienced produce industry professional who will bring his knowledge of understanding industry needs and pragmatically working to address these needs as the industry body continues to navigate the changing needs of its members. Richard Byllaardt, Chair of Citrus Australia, has been instated as Vice-Chair of the Board. 

“On behalf of the members and our team, I would like to thank Katie for her direction as chair in these, particularly challenging pandemic times. Through her term on the board, Katie has brought a focus on developing talent and was heavily involved in the successful planning for this year’s Hort Connections. She leaves some big shoes to fill in our board leadership, but I am sure that Ben and Richard are up to the task,” says Darren Keating, CEO. 

For more information:
Darren Keating
PMA Australia-New Zealand
Tel: +64 437103848
Email: d.keating@pma-anz.com 


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