Sheep Producers Australia appoints former NZ farmer body leader as CEO

Sheep Central, July 23, 2018

New Sheep Producers Australia CEO Graham Smith.

PEAK sheep meat body Sheep Producers Australia has appointed former New Zealand’s Federated Farmers chief executive officer Graham Smith to lead the body.

SPA today said Mr Smith will be based in Canberra and starts in the role in late August. He will attend the LambEx conference in Perth from August 5-7 to meet with producers and other industry stakeholders.

SPA said Mr Smith has had 30 years of experience working in the food and agriculture industries in a number of senior commercial positions, mainly in Australia and New Zealand.

For the past four years, he was CEO of New Zealand’s Federated Farmers and has previously run the Institute for Environmental Science and Research, one of the country’s largest science and innovation organisations.

SPA chair Chris Mirams said Mr Smith brings a wonderful skill set and wealth of experience to the role, including knowledge of the strategic importance of the sheep industry to Australia and its contribution to rural communities and national exports.

“After an extensive recruitment process, the board of SPA is thrilled to have a candidate of Graham’s calibre working with us.

“He joins SPA at an exciting time for the organisation, which transitioned to a company structure with a skills-based board late last year,” Mr Mirams said.

“This has meant a transition in governance, strategy and positioning as an organisation.

“We are looking forward to working with Graham as we develop and implement a range of new initiatives to further strengthen the industry and proactively support our key stakeholders,” Mr Mirams said.

Mr Mirams thanked Sue Dillon for her work as interim SPA CEO during the transition period.

Mr Mirams will now move from executive chair to independent chair of SPA as planned.

Mr Smith said he was excited to be taking up the role and working at a national level on behalf of Australia’s sheep producers and its state farming organisation members.

“It’s the start of a new chapter for SPA and I’m really looking forward to using the experience I’ve gained in other organisations for the benefit of SPA and the industry.”

Source: SPA.


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