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PwC Climate strategist takes the reins at FoodHQ

Net zero strategist Dr Victoria Hatton is taking the reins of New Zealand’s food science and innovation hub, FoodHQ.
February 8, 2023
Dr Victoria Hatton

Hatton is set to join the Palmerston North-based organisation, which represents  a cluster of scientific facilities and 2500 food researchers largely from Massey University, at the end of the month. She will take over from from current chief executive Abby Thompson, who is joining Miruku as chief operating officer.

Hatton leaves big four accountancy firm PwC, where she has been director of sustainability and climate change for almost two years, topping around fifteen years experience working in climate change, bridging the divide between science, policy and advocacy.

This includes leading ambitious climate action for both the UK and New Zealand governments, a stint at the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome working on livestock mitigation and managing the international operations at the New Zealand Greenhouse Gas Research Centre, according to FoodHQ.

Earlier in her career, Hatton also spent five years leading research, development, policy and strategy teams at Massey University.

“Climate change is here, our population is growing, and the cost of living is increasing,” Hatton said.

“How we grow, produce and process food now and in the future will absolutely need change for us to thrive. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to lead FoodHQ and work with partners and stakeholders to innovate and diversify our food system to be resilient to change.”

Another new face has also just started at FoodHQ, which has a range of stakeholders including Fonterra, AgResearch, Plant & Food Research, and the Riddet and Cawthron institutes.

Dr Hayden Pritchard has taken up the position as senior analyst. Pritchard has a PhD in exercise science and worked for several years as an academic at The Universal College of Learning before spending the past two years in the health sector.

FoodHQ said he brings experience in producing critical evidence-based insights, alongside an ability to build collaborative relationships.