Our Allergen Bureau Directors provide voluntary, unpaid services to the Allergen Bureau and we gratefully acknowledge the generous support they receive from their employer companies in this capacity.
Kirsten Grinter (Nestlé Australia) – Allergen Bureau President
Kirsten Grinter has several years’ experience working in Dairy (Unilever, Streets Ice Cream Division), Fats and Oils (Goodman Fielder, Meadow Lea Foods) and Cereals and Snacks (Uncle Tobys) industries both in Australia and New Zealand. Kirsten has worked in Product Development, Quality, Manufacturing, Research and Regulatory departments. Her current role is as Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Manager Nestlé where she has responsibility for a team of people who together manage regulatory and scientific affairs across the vast Oceania Business.
Kirsten represents Nestlé on the Australian Food and Grocery Council’s (AFGC) Health Nutrition and Scientific Affairs Committee and takes part in many AFGC food industry working groups to drive solutions in the pre-competitive industry arena.
Kirsten has been involved with the Allergen Forum at its inception and has retained a significant interest in driving through industry allergen initiatives. Kirsten was the chairperson of the Allergen Labelling project team, initiated in 2004 which surveyed the food industry approach to allergen labelling and used this information to develop an industry allergen labelling strategy. The project team developed a preferred allergen labelling format that is applicable to all industry sectors. The project was instigated by the Allergen Forum to drive allergen declaration consistency across all product labels. A consistent effort by industry will result in product labels that are easier to read as well as to identify the allergen information required by the allergic consumers. Another allergen labelling survey was completed in 2009 to track and monitor compliance to the AFGC Allergen Management and Labelling Guide.
Kirsten’s experience with allergen issues from manufacturing, regulation and through to contact with consumer groups gives her a unique perspective with regard to the needs of the food industry and the allergic community.
Kirsten considers that working in partnership for a whole of industry approach is the key to driving allergen management initiatives and key for the industry to remain a competitive and successful food industry globally.
Robin Sherlock (DTS FACTa) – Allergen Bureau Vice-President & Honorary Treasurer
Rob Sherlock is Technical Manager of FACTa (DTS FOOD Laboratories), a NATA accredited allergen testing facility which provides analysis, allergen management training, risk assessment tools and consultation around allergen control within food manufacturing, food service and associated supply industries.
Rob has a background in medical laboratory science and has more than 25 years’ experience in clinical microbiology and food science. She has had extensive experience in the area of food allergen analysis and brings a broad knowledge of the food industry – as well as the analytical issues – to her role on the board. Over the course of the last ten years in this field, Rob has contributed to a number of technical groups. In 2005, she joined the AFGC Allergen Forum Risk Assessment Working group which was instrumental in the development of theVITAL® program.
Rob is currently Vice-President of the Board of The Allergen Bureau and is a member of the AFGC Allergen Forum, the AOAC and the EAACI. Her role within The Allergen Bureau includes collaborating with the VITAL Scientific Expert Panel to further ensure that key allergen management decisions within The Allergen Bureau are shaped and supported by the best available science.
Julie Newlands (Unilever Australia Limited)
The Unilever portfolio includes some of the Australia’s best-known food and beverage names, including: Flora, Lipton, Bushells, Continental and Streets.
Julie has had a long involvement with the Allergen Bureau, including being part of the initial Allergen Management and Labelling related projects, one of which lead to the formation of the Allergen Bureau
Her involvement with the Allergen Bureau:
- is through her work at Unilever as Unilever is an Allergen Bureau founding member company;
- Julie’s local involvement in Allergen projects has drawn on the Unilever global allergen expert in the development of VITAL and Allergen Management ongoing;
- Julie is also the leader of Allergen Bureau Exemptions working group project;
- And an Allergen Bureau Board member since April 2013.
Her Industry Association involvement has been with
- Australian Food and Grocery Council – participating in a wide range of AFGC activities on Unilever behalf, including AFGC Allergen Forum.
- New Zealand Food and Grocery Council – Technical and Health Committee member since 2009
- Food and Beverage Importers Association – Executive Committee member since 2008
AIFST membership – Professional
And she is serving on a number of Regulatory Committees in the food area:
- FSANZ Retailers and Manufacturers Liaison Committee member
- FSANZ Allergen Collaboration member representing Allergen Bureau
- AFGC Allergen Forum
Karen Robinson (Invited Director) – Honorary Secretary & Company Secretary
Karen is currently an Invited Director of the Allergen Bureau. Immediately prior to this position, Karen was an elected Director from 2014 to 2016.
Karen is the Quality and Food Safety Senior Manager ANZ, PepsiCo Australia & New Zealand.
From 2008 to 2016, Karen held the position of National Quality Manager for McDonald’s ANZ, where she was responsible for the quality management of products and services, management of a team of QA Managers, and for supplier management as well as quality management of restaurant operations. Prior to joining McDonald’s, Karen worked with Goodman Fielder for 12 years. Initially joining the company as the Production Manager where she held a number of production and quality management roles. In 2000, Karen took a role at the Goodman Fielder head office at North Ryde in the Outsourced Manufacturing department. In this role, Karen was responsible for the quality management of product that was imported as well as product that was manufactured at third party manufacturing facilities both in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. This role also involved conducting audits of each manufacturer both in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Thailand. In 2005 Karen was promoted into the role of National Quality Manager in the Goodman Fielder Commercial division. In this role Karen was responsible for the quality management of the commercial manufacturing sites across Australia and New Zealand.
Other roles Karen has held within the food industry were as a Brewer at Tooheys Limited part of the Lion Nathan Group as well as Smiths Snack Foods in a Production Management role.