Leader of world’s best agri-food university visiting New Zealand

The Riddet Institute will host the President of the world’s leading Agri-Food University, Professor Louise O. Fresco, during her visit to New Zealand this  week.

Professor Fresco, from Wageningen University and Research, is in this country from December 3-7.  She will meet with thought leaders, primary industries and key research partners.

The Riddet Institute will be hosting a summit at Te Papa in Wellington on Thursday where Professor Fresco will be the keynote speaker.  The summit will address the challenges of food production and nutrition that must be tackled to sustainably feed an ever-growing world population.   It will also address the impact of this on the New Zealand economy and primary industries.

Professor Fresco and other strategic leaders in the areas of food economics, research and production will speak on this theme from a global perspective and the implications for New Zealand as a food producing nation.

Riddet Institute director and Massey University Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh says the visit is a highlight of the year.

“We are extremely proud and honoured to host Professor Fresco. This visit is another important milestone in the continuing relationship between Wageningen University, the Riddet Institute and Massey University,” says Professor Singh.

The Riddet Institute and Massey University have a special relationship with Wageningen University, a collaboration that goes back over 30 years. Over that shared history, there have been many collaborative projects, along with staff and student exchanges.

During her visit, Professor Fresco will spend time at Massey University, where she will meet with the University leadership team, as well as key academics.

Wageningen University is celebrating its centenary this year and during this visit special events will be held to commemorate the anniversary.  Massey University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas and Professor Fresco, will plant a special UniversiTREE to symbolise the continuing relationship between Wageningen University and Massey’s Manawatū campus. The iplanting will form part of a “virtual forest” of trees that Wageningen has planted with other collaborating institutions around the world this year.

There will also be events where the Wageningen delegation meets past and present academic, post-doctoral and postgraduate staff including a special event at the Netherlands’ Embassy in Wellington on Friday, December 7.

Professor Fresco, a high-profile leader in the Agri-Food sector globally,  is a highly recognised academic, has her own TV programme, has written several best-selling books on her research and has given many lectures on the subject of feeding the world, including a TED Talk. She has a long academic career at both Wageningen and Amsterdam Universities, with extensive involvement in policy and development programmes.

Professor Fresco is a member of eight Scientific Academies and for 10 years was Assistant-Director General at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN. She has also served on the boards of companies including Rabobank and Unilever.

This week she also will meet with a variety of industry and government representatives including Dr Megan Woods (Minister for Research, Science & Innovation), David Parker (Minister for Economic Development), the Global Women Showcase Dinner in Auckland and a public lecture at the Beehive hosted by Damien O’Connor (Minister for Agriculture, Trade and Export Growth, Biosecurity & Food Safety).

Source:  Riddet Institute

Massey professor becomes first NZ recipient of international dairy award

Massey University Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh has become the first New Zealander to receive the 2018 American Dairy Science Association Distinguished Service Award.

The Riddet Institute director received the award during a ceremony at the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) annual meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee. The award recognises unusually outstanding and consistent contributions to the welfare of the dairy industry.

Professor Singh is a world-renowned food scientist and a major figure in the development of dairy science research.

His contributions to dairy science in the United States have been recognised previously by ADSA through other prestigious awards – the International Dairy Foods Association Research Award in Dairy Foods in 2015 and the Marschall Rhodia International Dairy Science Award in 2001. In 2008, he was awarded the William Haines Dairy Science Award by the California Dairy Research Foundation.

Professor Singh’s research has had a major international impact, both in the dairy industry and academic community.

He has published more than 350 peer-reviewed papers in international journals and has mentored over 60 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. He has also shown great skill as a leader, both in his role leading Riddet Institute, but also heading the School of Food and Nutrition, and the Massey Institute of Food Science and Technology from 2015-17.

Source: Massey University