Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) has announced that Dr Christine Pitt will conclude her role as chief executive officer of MLA Donor Company (MDC) to pursue other business interests.
Dr Pitt leaves the company after an accomplished 25-year career in the red meat sector with MLA and its predecessor, the Meat Research Corporation (MRC). During this period she has undertaken a range of senior roles.
MLA managing director Richard Norton paid tribute to Dr Pitt’s contribution and thanked her for her service to MLA and the broader Australian red meat industry.
“Christine has a well-earned reputation as one of the most incisive and creative thought leaders, not just in the red meat industry and agriculture sector, but in the broader national research, development and innovation community,” Mr Norton said.
“She has always looked to the future and she has never been shy in challenging the norm or setting new horizons for innovation in our industry.”
During Dr Pitt’s time with MLA, she led a series of major initiatives, some of the most notable of which include the processing sector automation strategy; introduction of value chain thinking and design into the industry; high value food and packaging innovation and the development of the I+E Connect platform to ensure the red meat industry is at the forefront of new AgTech and FoodTech innovations.
Mr Norton said most recently, as CEO of MDC, Dr Pitt has taken the MDC annual investment portfolio from some $30 million to almost $100 million.
“One of her greatest legacies will be her establishment of many initiatives aimed at building the innovation capability of enterprises and individuals along the whole value chain,” Mr Norton said.
These include the Co-Innovation Strategies Program that has seen a significant increase in the level of private investment and accelerated adoption of innovation; the Young Food Innovators program which is building a generation of new talent in both farming and food production for our industry and the Producer Innovation Fast-Track program which reflects her passion for mentoring and supporting innovative producers as they seek to improve their businesses and explore new opportunities for growth.
Dr Pitt will leave the company in February. In the meantime, current MLA Director and new Chair of MDC, Allister Watson, will operate through this transition in an executive chair role.