NZFGC is pleased to announce two appointments heading into 2024 – Holly Cotter as General Manager and Donnell Alexander as Health and Regulatory Manager.

Chief Executive Raewyn Bleakley said: “I’m delighted to announce the appointment of Holly and Donnell into these roles as part of our team. They will be real assets to the work of our organisation as we head into the coming year. They both are deeply experienced and eager to contribute to the success of NZFGC and our members.”

Holly has over 15 years’ experience working across public affairs, strategy, and policy, and is a passionate advocate for business. Holly was Corporate Affairs Manager for Business Central and the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, leading the advocacy, programmes, trade, and communications teams. Holly joins New Zealand Food and Grocery Council fresh from the 2023 election campaign, having been Campaign Manager Operations and Engagement for the National Party. She was an advisor in the previous National Government, working in the Government Research and Communications Unit and as a Ministerial Advisor.

“Holly has a strong public affairs background and brings with her a wealth of experience across politics, policy, and advocacy. The knowledge and skills Holly brings will provide our members and the wider supplier network with the best possible advocacy and support. With the recent appointment of a Grocery Commissioner and Grocery team at the Commerce Commission, along with the Grocery Supply Code of Conduct, and a new government, we are committed to ensuring the success of New Zealand’s supplier network and continuing to empower their voice.”



Donnell Alexander is a New Zealand registered dietitian and nutritionist who has worked across the public and private sector in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Donnell joins New Zealand Food and Grocery Council from the Ministry for Primary Industries, having been Senior Advisor in the Food Science Team working to help establish and implement evidence-based food labelling and composition regulations across New Zealand and Australia, and with global regulators on nutrition and health claim regulations in particular. Her 30-year career has spanned from coordinating nutrition-related research for the Public Health Commission and Ministry of Health in New Zealand and the Department of Health in United Kingdom, to Research and Development Manager at New Zealand’s largest food company, Fonterra. She also worked in the Dunn Nutrition Unit at Cambridge University as part of the team delivering a National Nutrition Survey in the United Kingdom, and for over a decade helped lead a group of food and nutrition specialists in communications consultancy, Network Communications, specialising in the effective communication of nutrition science to both consumers and health professionals.

“Donnell has worked on many of the key challenges facing our members and has deep expertise in nutrition and human health, across both the public and private sectors. The experience and expertise that Donnell brings will be invaluable to support the ongoing commitment of our members to ensuring better wellbeing and health outcomes for our communities, and to build on the success of the initiatives and programmes of our members.”


These appointments come ahead of the departure of Policy Director Carole Inkster and Communications Director Brent Webling, who have both given over a decade of service respectively to the New Zealand Food and Grocery Council and will be finishing in their current roles in the new year.

“I want to thank Carole and Brent for their service to the New Zealand Food and Grocery Council, for the difference and the impact that they have made for our members and the wider supplier network.”

“Carole’s commitment to ensuring strong policy-led submissions for better health outcomes for New Zealanders and her relationship with New Zealand Food and Grocery Council will continue in her ongoing work with the Infant Nutrition Council and her many other roles to ensure the success of this important work.”

“Brent was brought on by Katherine Rich to establish the communications unit at a time when an online presence and social media was becoming an essential part of BAU in the business world. He used his extensive media experience to manage all things media, including dealing with journalists, wrote many op-eds, and ran our LinkedIn channel and the website, empowering the voice of our members on challenging but critical issues.”

“They leave NZFGC much better off thanks to all their work to improve outcomes for members and New Zealanders. They go with our very best wishes and thanks.”