Co-chair of Silver Fern Farms Limited and Chair of Farmlands Co-operative, Rob Hewett, and Ecological Economist, Dr Marjan van den Belt, have joined the Lincoln University
Mr Hewett brings extensive governance experience in the agricultural and agribusiness sectors to the role, while Dr van den Belt has 25 years combined experience of knowledge brokering and entrepreneurship in research, teaching and consulting across multiple sectors.
Silver Fern Farms is New Zealand’s largest meat processor and exporter, exporting to over 60 countries globally. Mr Hewett is also Director, immediate past-Chair, and a shareholder of Silver Fern Farms Co-operative Limited, which is owned by 16,000 farmer shareholders and supplies sheep meat, beef and venison to Silver Fern Farms Limited.
He is also the Chair of Farmlands Cooperative Society, New Zealand’s largest diversified rural supplies business with 70,000 farmer shareholders, and a Director of T&G Global Ltd, an Auckland based, globally focused pipfruit and vegetable growing and import-export business.
He has governance roles in the energy sector, as a Director for Pioneer Energy Limited, a diversified energy company with generating assets across wind, hydro, biomass, thermal and gas throughout New Zealand.
Mr Hewett also has experience in sustainable ventures, owning a 960ha carbon-zero sheep and beef breeding and finishing farm with significant forestry and wind farm interests in Manuka Gorge, South Otago, since 2002.
He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Commerce from Lincoln University.
Dr van den Belt has a life-long passion for ecological sustainability, social and cultural fairness and innovative economic solutions. This is reflected in a unique combination of academic qualifications, inter/trans-disciplinary research, and management and governance experience.
A strategic partner with Terra Moana Ltd, she seeks to serve communities of people and organisations who critically engage with a vision for a regenerative society through enterprise, board positions, facilitation, analysis and synthesis.
Formerly she held the positions of Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability) at Victoria University of Wellington, and the Director of Ecological Economics Research New Zealand (EERNZ) at Massey University.
She was appointed to the Treasury’s Tax Working Group in 2019 and has been a Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (Impact) Assessor. She is currently a member of Wellington City Council’s Sustainable Food Community Working Group.
Previously on the Sustainable Business Council, and currently a member of the Pool of Experts of the Regular Process for Global Reporting and Assessment of the State of the Marine Environment, she has held seven board membership positions, been an advisor to seven boards and served on seven national and international strategic working groups or expert panels.
Lincoln University Chancellor, Bruce Gemmell, welcomed the new appointments saying the new members’ experience in the corporate, tertiary and governmental sectors would be invaluable to the Council and the University.