The Gardiner Dairy Foundation has welcomed the board appointment of Mr René Dedoncker, Managing Director of Fonterra Australia.

Mr Dedoncker will draw on his extensive experience at Fonterra as he joins the Gardiner Board in a manufacturer representative capacity, replacing retiring director Mr Barry Irvin, Executive Chairman of Bega Cheese.

Mr Dedoncker says he welcomes the opportunity to contribute more than a decade of experience in dairy to help advance the Australian dairy industry.

“I am impressed and excited by the Gardiner Dairy Foundation, its investments, projects and scholarships. It is making a very meaningful difference to the Victorian and Australian dairy industry and its strength and contribution is especially important to the industry’s future.

“The Gardiner Dairy Foundation fosters skill development, research and industry advancement. We are a very strong supporter, given our own growth goals both for our business and for the Australian industry. We have a long commitment to Australia and we want to keep growing the supply and volume of the dairy we produce,” said Mr Dedoncker.

Gardiner Dairy Foundation Chairman, Dr Bruce Kefford, has welcomed Mr Dedoncker and thanked Mr Irvin, who has made outstanding contributions to the Gardiner Dairy Foundation over the past seven years.

“René has been an influential leader in the dairy industry and brings his immense knowledge and enthusiasm to Gardiner at a time when the dairy industry is going through modernisation and change. We are fortunate that he has come on to represent the interests of manufacturers,” said Dr Kefford.