Ms Umran Beba, President of PepsiCo’s Asia Pacific Region, was elected FIA’s new President by the FIA General Assembly at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 18 April.

As a founding member of the FIA Coordinating Council, Beba has played a proactive part in building the foundation of FIA and has helped to shape policy decisions on food safety, trade facilitation and nutrition literacy.

As a prominent business leader in the region, Beba oversees PepsiCo’s food and beverage businesses across more than 20 countries. She began her career in PepsiCo in 1994 and has held a variety of roles including General Manager of Frito Lay in Turkey, and President of PepsiCo’s South East Europe Region.

On her new appointment as FIA President, Beba said: “It is a real honour to have been chosen to lead FIA. The organisation has grown tremendously over the last few years, helping to shape outcomes for the food industry in Asia and strengthening networks and relationships with key stakeholders.

“I look forward to working alongside our committees, members, partners and other stakeholders as we build on this strong foundation over the coming year.”

Beba takes over the role from Pradeep Pant, who has led FIA since its formation as an organisation in 2010.

“It has been a pleasure to lead FIA over the last three years,” Mr Pant said.

“I am proud of the things we have accomplished together and it has been gratifying to work closely with my industry peers on the FIA Council on non-competitive issues of mutual interest. I congratulate Umran on her well-deserved appointment and look forward to working alongside her and the FIA team as we continue to build momentum,” he said.

Speaking after the AGM, FIA Executive Director, Bev Postma welcomed Ms Beba’s appointment: “I look forward to working with Umran as the new President of FIA. Having led PepsiCo in a range of roles and markets, Umran possesses strong leadership skills which will help propel the organisation forward and strengthen FIA’s position as the leading voice of the food industry in Asia.

Ms Postma also thanked Mr Pant for his leadership over the last three years.

“We are indebted to the role that Pradeep has played since the formation of FIA. These leadership roles are demanding and come on top of some very busy day jobs.

“Under Pradeep’s leadership, FIA has achieved some significant milestones over the last 12 months. The organisation has been working alongside National Industry Associations to drive self-regulation in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam; helped shape regional outcomes at key global forums; and worked with our partners across the region to establish and launch AFBA.

“I have no doubt the year ahead will be just as rewarding as we continue to enjoy the support of members and associates to drive harmonisation and work with our key stakeholders to help tackle health and nutrition challenges across the region,” she said.

Following the formal business, the delegates heard from Masa Kogure, Founder of non-profit organisation Table for Two International. The organisation aims to tackle hunger and obesity by partnering with corporate cafeterias, university dining halls and restaurants to provide healthy, lower calorie meal options. The reduced calories are monetised and US25¢ of every meal is donated and used to fund one school lunch for children in Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Kenya. The organisation has distributed almost 20 million meals since it was founded in 2007.

Kogure is also the author of “Connecting the World With Twenty Yen,” a hands-on guide to social entrepreneurship. Prior to founding Table for Two, he worked for McKinsey & Company and Shochiku.

Later that evening the FIA Council joined senior ASEAN officials and food industry leaders for the official launch of AFBA and the inaugural AFBA report “Executive Guide to Regulatory Harmonisation in ASEAN ”.