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Food Magazine’s Q&A: Keith Cullen

Keith Cullen, Director of Innovative Processing, CSIRO Food and Nutritional Sciences.

I grew up in…

Melbourne and I have lived most of my life there. It’s a very liveable city with a wonderful diversity. My career has been spent entirely in the food & beverage industry so it has been a great place to be based.

In high school, I was passionate about…

science and sport. Not surprisingly I went on to study science at Monash University. My first job was in the brewing industry at Carlton & United Breweries.

My current role involves…

managing the CSIRO Food & Nutritional Sciences Food Processing Centre. This is a state of the art facility which assists food companies to develop and implement new technologies and processes, solve technical issues and innovate.

Before my current role, I worked…

as the Product Development Director for Campbell’s Soups leading and managing their research and new product development activities. In a FMCG food company it is a case of innovate or perish. The most successful food and beverage companies value and continue to heavily invest in research and new product development to support their growth initiatives.

Studies/training that has helped me in my current role includes…

my science degree and training in leadership, management, creative thinking and strategic planning.
 

My work is helping to better the food industry by…

helping the industry to develop and adopt emerging technologies, to innovate and to maintain a strong competitive advantage.

The most challenging part of my role is…

the huge diversity and complexity of challenges that food companies bring to CSIRO Food & Nutritional Sciences for our help.

The best parts of my role are…

the people I work with, and working across the whole breadth of the food industry.

My favourite food is…

the simple and humble lamb roast. When I was growing up my only experience of eating lamb was as a roast or a chop. It’s amazing to see how lamb has come of age in recent years with its popularity and the vast variety of dishes now being cooked using lamb.

The thing that gets me out of bed in the morning is…

(apart from a good cappuccino) being part of a great organisation (CSIRO) that is working across the whole food chain in Australia to improve and safeguard our strong food and agricultural heritage.

The food industry needs to change…

to meet the challenges of stronger competition from imported products, rising commodity prices, growing health and wellness trends and food sustainability and safety.

The current food/brands that we will be eating in 50 years time are…

those that build trust with consumers, build strong brand equity and continue to innovate to meet their consumer’s changing needs.

In 50 years, the food industry can look forward to…

continued growth and prosperity. The industry plays an important role in everyday life by helping people and families bring food to their tables.
 

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