By Allergen Bureau

The Allergen Bureau held its 9th Annual AGM and Members Meeting on the 28th of October

The AGM is an opportunity for Allergen Bureau members to stay informed of the strategy and achievements of the Allergen Bureau for the prior year, and to ensure they are aware of the financial position of the organization and how membership funds are being prioritized. The meeting provided members with an update of membership growth and key achievements of the previous financial year, including but not limited to the update of our websites and social assets, brand redesign and update of the VITAL online calculator, updated food industry guides and resources and the progress of the current working groups.

The board outlined key strategic imperatives for the next five years including:

  1. Evidence based science
  2. Best practice allergen management guidance & resources
  3. Key stakeholder acknowledgment
  4. Global influence & brand recognition
  5. Good governance and financial sustainability

An important part of the governance of membership organizations is the limit on tenure for serving board members in official roles. This ensures diversity of representation and leadership, a core value of democratic organisations. The Board farewelled Kirsten Grinter as Allergen Bureau President after 8 years at the helm. The board and members thanked Kirsten for her incredible tenure as President, recognizing the unwavering commitment made to the Allergen Bureau, and raising the profile of the Allergen Bureau both locally and globally through robust science.

The Allergen Bureau also farewelled David Henning as an Invited Director. David has supported the Allergen Bureau over many years, most recently as a Board member where he made a significant contribution to the Vital Standard, and his experience and pragmatism assisted the Board at all levels.  

The meeting also saw the declaration of the Directors’ poll which showed the re-election of Debbie Hawkes. We are excited to welcome back Debbie (as Treasurer). Paul Kelly (Woolworths Australia Pty Ltd) was elected director and appointed to the position of Secretary.  The Allergen Bureau Board has been very fortunate over the years to have had representation from all areas of the supply chain and is fortunate to have Paul bring a retail lens to the Board. To read more of Paul’s story please visit his bio.

At the members meeting new appointed Allergen Bureau Manager Lisa Clark, spoke about her career journey to this point, and commitment to the continued success of the Allergen Bureau.  Jenny Hazelton, Acting General Manager | Food Safety and Corporate at FSANZ, provided a fabulous insight into Codex globally, both in relation to the Committee on Food Labelling and the Committee on Food Hygiene, and the expert advice being sort from FAO/WHO scientific advisory group.  Penny Dellsperger, Health Advocacy Officer at Coeliac Australia gave us an update on new research around determining safe doses of gluten for coeliacs.

Following the Members’ Meeting the Elected Directors met to finalise the last two pieces of official business; to appoint a new President and to consider proposals for Invited Directors.  The Allergen Bureau was pleased to announce that Jasmine Lacis-Lee accepted the position of Allergen Bureau President.  Jasmine has been a member of the Board since 2017 and has been a proactive advocate and advisor to industry during this time.   For more information on Jasmine and to hear more of her thoughts on being president please read our Q&A with Jasmine.

The Allergen Bureau Board is also pleased to announce that, Caroline Grey has remained in the role of Vice President, and Kirsten Grinter and Dean Stockwell have agreed to contribute as Invited Directors for 2021. Both Dean and Kirsten have previously been members of the Allergen Bureau Board and we welcome the experience and insights that they will bring in supporting the Allergen Bureau.

For more information on any of our directors please visit our board information page.

We thank members once again for your involvement and welcome any feedback you may have on the Board Report, proceedings, or meetings  We are excited for the year ahead and remain committed to our mission to Lead the global food industry in best practice allergen management, sharing information that builds trust and transparency and that supports allergen sensitive consumers to make informed choices.

The Allergen Bureau will not enter any discussion, activity or conduct that may infringe, on its part or on the part of its members and participants, any applicable competition laws. By way of example, members and participants shall not discuss, communicate, or exchange any commercially sensitive information, including non-public information relating to prices, marketing and advertisement strategy, costs and revenues, trading terms and conditions and conditions with third parties, including purchasing strategy, terms of supply, trade programs or distribution strategy. This applies not only to discussion in formal meetings but also to informal discussions before, during or after meetings.