Chairman of the Australian Livestock Exporters’ Council, Simon Crean, has announced that Alison Penfold will step down as Chief Executive Officer at the end of July.
Mr Crean said Ms Penfold, who has been CEO of ALEC since February 2012, had decided to pursue other professional opportunities, a move which ALEC directors understood and fully supported.
Mr Crean, who made the announcement to ALEC members at today’s half-yearly General Meeting in Brisbane, said Ms Penfold has given four years of “commitment, dedication and leadership” to the organisation.
“Alison has been a formidable CEO, an agent for creative change and a determined and highly respected advocate,” Mr Crean said.
“She leaves the organisation in much stronger shape to meet the significant opportunities and challenges facing the industry, in line with ALEC’s mission to promote the sustainable export of Australian livestock. Her drive and leadership will be missed.
“Alison has overseen fundamental changes in the way the livestock export business operates. We thank her for her legacy and she goes with our best wishes for the future.
“Alison has fought hard for policy and regulatory reform both internally and externally, as well as leading our reform strategy which has challenged industry to understand and embrace corporate responsibility and social license concepts,” Mr Crean said.
“Her time with ALEC has seen significant change within the organisation including a new 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, the development of a new annual operating plan and budget framework, new governance arrangements, organisational growth, new revenue streams, and a more effective approach to communications and public advocacy.
“Alison has been the public face of the industry in resolving supply chain concerns and leading the discussion about improvements in animal welfare which has enabled a more balanced and engaged public discussion about the livestock export trade.”
Reflecting on her time as CEO, Ms Penfold said that the role has been a challenging but extremely rewarding experience.
“When I started with ALEC, I had the significant task of refocusing the organisation on the risks to industry sustainability and driving change across the trade,” she said.
“As an organisation we had to have a good look at the cause of the 2011 ban and how we could prevent it from occurring again.
“Since then, ALEC has worked to support and implement changes to better address community concerns about the welfare of exported livestock by challenging members to be more responsive to community concerns and better participate in, respond to and influence the public conversation about the industry.
“There are further improvements to be made and challenges remain, but supply chain integrity and animal welfare outcomes have improved significantly and the industry is continuing to invest and innovate as part of its commitment to continual improvement.”
“I leave with ALEC committed to improving levels of engagement, transparency and accountability through projects such as the development of animal welfare indicators, the Futureproofing for Profitability Strategy and improvements to ESCAS via the Livestock Global Assurance welfare assurance and risk management program, if implemented, by exporters and recognised by Government.
“This has been a challenging and richly rewarding role. I thank the ALEC Board and members for the incredible opportunity afforded to me.”
The ALEC Board has commenced the process to appoint a new CEO, with an announcement regarding the role to be made in due course.