Matt is the Executive Director at Food Industry Asia (FIA), the food industry’s first regional industry platform for major food & beverage companies. He reports to a non-profit board of regional CEOs from multinational food and drink companies.
Matt, with a dedicated team of 13 secretariat staff, is responsible for delivering impactful policy outcomes in nutrition, food safety and regional trade across Asia through the establishment of multi-stakeholder platforms and capacity building projects on areas related to health and nutrition, food security, trade liberalisation and regulatory harmonisation. This is done through forging sustainable partnerships with a variety of government agencies, regulators, academia, NGOs and IGOs.
Matt is a seasoned corporate affairs professional with more than 18 years of experience specialising in stakeholder relations, policy analysis, government relations and journalism.
Originally from the UK, Matt has spent 13 years in Asia living in China, Taiwan and Singapore. He holds an MBA at the UK’s Lancaster University Management School.
Head of Communications
Edwin joins with the dual responsibility of leading communications and driving FIA’s sustainability agenda, having had significant experience in both areas. His career, which spans over 20 years and covers the private, public and non-profit sectors, has seen him take on roles in policy development, corporate communications, advocacy, and stakeholder engagement.
Prior to joining FIA, and with industry experience in tourism, urban & environmental sustainability, energy, and manufacturing, he was head of an environmental NGO at the forefront of fighting the regional haze, while working with government agencies, schools and corporations to promote eco-labelling, recycling and other environmental issues. Before this, he was their Director of Communications; he also served in a senior corporate communications role with the Energy Market Authority in Singapore.
Edwin was nominated for Singaporean of the Year in 2016 by the media, for his role in leading the fight against the haze that engulfed Singapore and several Southeast Asian countries in 2015; shortly before that, he became the first Southeast Asian elected to the Board of the Global Eco-labelling Network, an international network of national eco-labelling organisations. Edwin is a Singaporean, and read Economics at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) in the USA.
Finance & Human Resources Manager
Joana is a key member of the FIA team and manages the finance function which includes the preparation and management of FIA’s budget and all human resources activities including the recruitment and on-boarding of all new employees.
Joana has been with FIA since January 2013 and has extensive finance and administrative experience and skills. Prior to joining FIA, she was the Finance and Operations Controller for Canalys Pte. Ltd., a UK based research company where she supported the start-up of their operations in Asia in 2006. Joana started her career as a Quality Assurance Supervisor for a Japanese multi-national and has worked for Singapore Telecom and Acacia IT Services in previous roles.
Joana, a Singaporean, graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce (Marketing, E-Business and Information Systems) from the University of Western Australia.
Food Safety Manager
Nicola joined the FIA team in April 2017, she has extensive experience in food regulations and Food Safety Management. As the Quality Assurance Manager for McDonald’s Australia Nicola was responsible for coordinating and driving Food Safety and Quality initiatives within the restaurants and was the key contact with Health Departments and State Agencies. Prior to working for McDonald’s Nicola worked with the New South Wales Food Authority in Australia as a project Manager responsible for piloting the food hygiene system ‘Scores on Doors’.
While working with the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority she drafted various Codes of Practices and Regulation No.6 Food Hygiene throughout the food chain for review by the Scientific committee. Nicola also worked for the Food Safety Authority of Ireland where she was responsible for the daily management of the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASSF) in Ireland.
Nicola is from Ireland and holds a Masters in European Food Regulatory Affairs from the University of Ulster.
Sabeera is FIA’s first nutritionist, having been accredited by the Association for Nutrition in the United Kingdom. Starting as an intern, Sabeera has worked with FIA since August 2015, providing research on a number of critical areas related to the association’s Health & Nutrition agenda. She supports FIA’s work in the areas of nutrition profiling, nutrition labelling and sweeteners, contributing to projects such as issues management and the development of science-based materials.
Sabeera provides support to the Asia Roundtable on Food Innovation for Improved Nutrition (ARoFIIN) by maintaining the ARoFIIN databank, as well as screening and updating all available material related to obesity in Asia. She is also involved in the planning and execution of ARoFIIN events and activities in the ASEAN region.
Sabeera, a Singaporean, is a recent graduate of Liverpool John Moores University, and holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in Community Nutrition (Public Health).
Regional Policy Officer
Samantha supports the development and implementation of FIA’s long-term advocacy strategy and the delivery of key policy objectives. Working closely with the policy team, she coordinates the design and delivery of appropriate communication tools and statements to address emerging issues in the areas of nutrition labelling, nutrient profiling, taxation, sweeteners and marketing to children. She also monitors and analyses critical industry trends, activities and policies related to the association’s Health and Nutrition agenda both in Asia and globally.
Prior to joining FIA, Samantha was a Nutrition Consultant Intern with ibn360. She provided support by conducting desk reviews on the nutrition landscape in Asia, including selected ASEAN countries and India. Further to the analytical research and editorial contributions for fortification studies and malnutrition reports, she liaised with key stakeholders for events and workshops to drive the dialogue on health and nutrition in Asia.
Samantha, a Singaporean, graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Food Science and Nutrition.
Information Communications Executive
Desmond joined the FIA team in May 2015 and has the vital responsibility of making sure all our IT systems, including email, servers and websites, run smoothly without any major disruptions.
Desmond is an IT professional who counts more than 10 years’ experience working with and supporting SME companies with their IT requirements. He is proficient in hardware, software, operating systems and also conducts end-user training on software, simple office tools and computer systems. In addition to his regular duties of managing FIA’s IT systems, Desmond will be assisting the Communications team on Audio Visual, IT and Website Management.
Desmond, who is Singaporean, has a Diploma in Computer Studies from NCC Education, Singapore.