Fonterra’s Dr Pierre Venter Honored with Food Safety Award

by Ella

Dr Pierre Venter, the head of research and development at Fonterra, has been recognized with the Significant Contribution to Food Safety Award at the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology Awards.

At Fonterra, Dr Venter leads the team responsible for the co-operative’s food safety and quality science, pivotal in driving robust risk management strategies.


With over 20 years of experience in innovation and research, Dr Venter’s leadership has been instrumental in pioneering advancements within the field.


Vincent Arbuckle, deputy director-general of New Zealand Food Safety, expressed their delight in presenting the award to Dr Venter, highlighting his substantial impact on food safety both domestically and internationally. Arbuckle commended Dr Venter for his transformative leadership, operational optimization, strategic innovation, and unwavering commitment to integrity and people development within the product leadership culture.


Dr Venter’s contributions extend beyond Fonterra, encompassing significant achievements such as the development of global patents. These include a tool for advanced risk communication utilized by various stakeholders, and the application of spatial modelling to understand pathogen distribution within manufacturing facilities.


Arbuckle emphasized Dr Venter’s broader influence on food safety science, noting his support for other New Zealand businesses, fundamental research, and his role in supervising post-graduate students at the forefront of food safety and quality challenges. Dr Venter has also made substantial contributions to the New Zealand Food Safety and Science Research Centre.

In his response to receiving the award, Dr Venter expressed his hope that it would inspire others to pursue careers in food safety, encouraging continued innovation and growth within the discipline. He underscored that food safety is not solely about science and technology but also entails social and ethical commitments. Dr Venter emphasized his dedication to advancing food safety science and collaborating with partners to uphold the highest standards of food quality and safety.

“This award reflects the collective efforts and achievements of the entire food safety community, particularly the team at the Fonterra Research and Development Centre,” Dr Venter concluded.

Past recipients of the Significant Contribution to Food Safety Award include Dr Rob Lake in 2023 and Plant and Food’s Food Safety and Preservation Team in 2022.



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