René Dedoncker Joins Gardiner Foundation Board

October 27 2017

The Gardiner Dairy Foundation has welcomed the board appointment of Mr René Dedoncker, Managing Director of Fonterra Australia.

IMAGE Rene Dedoncker


The Gardiner Dairy Foundation has welcomed the board appointment of Mr René Dedoncker, Managing Director of Fonterra Australia.

Mr Dedoncker will draw on his extensive experience at Fonterra as he joins the Gardiner Board in a manufacturer representative capacity, replacing retiring director Mr Barry Irvin, Executive Chairman of Bega Cheese.

Mr Dedoncker says he welcomes the opportunity to contribute more than a decade of experience in dairy to help advance the Australian dairy industry.

“I am impressed and excited by the Gardiner Dairy Foundation, its investments, projects and scholarships. It is making a very meaningful difference to the Victorian and Australian dairy industry and its strength and contribution is especially important to the industry’s future.

“The Gardiner Dairy Foundation fosters skill development, research and industry advancement. We are a very strong supporter, given our own growth goals both for our business and for the Australian industry. We have a long commitment to Australia and we want to keep growing the supply and volume of the dairy we produce,” said Mr Dedoncker.

Gardiner Dairy Foundation Chairman, Dr Bruce Kefford, has welcomed Mr Dedoncker and thanked Mr Irvin, who has made outstanding contributions to the Gardiner Dairy Foundation over the past seven years.

“René has been an influential leader in the dairy industry and brings his immense knowledge and enthusiasm to Gardiner at a time when the dairy industry is going through modernisation and change. We are fortunate that he has come on to represent the interests of manufacturers,” said Dr Kefford.   


About the Gardiner Dairy Foundation

The Gardiner Dairy Foundation is an independent investor in projects that have significant impact for the Victorian dairy industry supply chain and wider community. 

Since 2000, the Gardiner Dairy Foundation has made more than $60 million in cash contributions to over 730 projects for the dairy industry. With partner co-funding, this represents a $165 million contribution across the dairy value chain. For more information about the Gardiner Dairy Foundation, visit

About Fonterra

Fonterra is a global leader in dairy nutrition – the preferred supplier of dairy ingredients to many of the world’s leading food companies. It is also a market leader with its own consumer dairy brands in New Zealand and Australia, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. Fonterra is a farmer-owned co-operative and the largest processor of milk in the world. It is one of the world’s largest investors in dairy research and innovation drawing on generations of dairy expertise to produce more than two million tonnes of dairy ingredients, value added dairy ingredients, specialty ingredients and consumer products for 140 markets.

In Australia, Fonterra operates 7 manufacturing sites across Victoria and Tasmania and employs around 1,650 people. Fonterra Australia collects around 2 billion litres of milk annually from almost 1,300 farmer suppliers and their 300,000 dairy cows. This milk is made into the many Fonterra dairy foods that generations of Australians have grown up with and love, including Perfect Italiano™, Bega™, Mainland™, Western Star™ and Anchor™. The business also sells dairy ingredients to many of the world’s leading food companies and it operates a dedicated sales channel for the foodservice industry, providing a full range of dairy products specifically designed for commercial kitchens. 

For media enquiries, please contact Wrights PR on behalf of the Gardiner Dairy Foundation:   

Kate Dwight, Account Executive on 0405 270 910 or at   

For Fonterra media enquiries, please contact:   

Sarah Counsell, Fonterra Communications on 0438 482 370 or at