Panel 5: Food Innovation
What changes have you seen in your industry that make you feel hopeful about the future of sustainability?
Although there’s a lot of noise in this industry, the number of people cutting through it is growing. Even within the last year, massive strides have been taken from how people talk about the future of sustainability, to helping consumers understand knowledge that isn’t always made understandable to the general public, to eco-friendly packaging solutions.
If you could interview anyone, alive or passed, whom would it be and why?
Sir Graham Henry – Coach of New Zealand Rugby team, All Blacks, for seven years. I provide a copy of the book Legacy by James Kerr to all new hires at Chew because I believe a lot of their team principles can and should be applied to ours. The worlds of Competitive sports and that of a competitive business are so closely aligned. If we do not compete against ourselves on a daily basis, we will wake up one day to find we have become the same as the clients we partner with, and therefore the proposition of outsourced excellence goes away.
Could you tell us about a time you took a chance and it paid off?
Walking away from an industry I spent nearly two decades establishing myself in, and one that I love more than life itself! When I first became a Chef, all I wanted was to be the best, the star of the show, the cover of the magazines, etc. But when I took a step back and viewed the food industry through a wider lens, I realized just how misguided consumers are when it comes to making healthy and sustainable food choices. I ventured away from the world of high end gastronomy and decided to enter a vastly different arena within food: Mass produced consumer packaged goods. I realized, with the right focus and attention to detail, by bringing together the greatest team of Chefs and scientists I could assemble, we could make a profound impact – and in doing so, democratize good food. There’s a lot of noise. A lot of people are saying there’s no hope for a sustainable future. I wanted to cut through that and prove that there is. That’s when I started Chew.