Robbie Davis

Agribusiness advocate

As CEO of Potatoes South Australia, Robbie heads the organisation that represents the biggest potato-producing region in the country.

With food security, food safety and reduction of food waste among issues close to her heart, Robbie is enthusiastic about her participation in positioning Australia as a country capable of producing the best food in the world.

My career journey has been very diverse, with roles in private industry and in government, as a consultant and running my own businesses – almost all of them related to market development of agrifood and international trade.

I have always been interested in Agriculture and completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Science at Adelaide University. I later completed an MBA at the University of Adelaide and subsequently graduated from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

My current position with Potatoes South Australia commenced in 2012 and in some respects it is my most challenging role. Farm gate return to primary producers has never been more critical.

I love being part of the agrifood sector, which has never been as important as now. It is already our largest export industry and, as global population accelerates, the challenge is to develop a long term sustainable industry that can feed the next generation and beyond. Agribusiness is a profession grossly undervalued (and misunderstood) by our society.

Quote : “You need a doctor maybe once a year, but you need a farmer three times a day.”

The smartest decision I’ve made, without a shadow of a doubt, was my move to South East Asia for almost ten years following my graduation. Nothing could have better prepared me for the many roles I have had since. The insight I gained is instrumental in understanding our biggest market and the need to adjust our thinking and our service.

I’ve learned that old approaches don’t necessarily work, either in government or industry. It’s important to take the time to consult, the time to learn and the time to listen. Asking questions rather than accepting the status quo has been very much my modus operandi. It works and it brings people along with you (most of the time).

My best advice is don’t see yourself as a woman first and a decision-maker second. Many women are brought up as princesses to marry their prince: perhaps it’s time to build your own castle.

Quote: “You need a doctor maybe once a year, but you need a farmer three times a day.”

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