CEO & Founder
John has over 30 years of extensive experience across the food landscape from production through to manufacturing, from aquaculture to dairy. With a rich family history in the agricultural sector John has a unique and deep connection to food and is extensively networked within Tasmania, both politically and commercially. In 2009 John saw an opportunity to combine his love for value adding through manufacturing and acquired existing freeze-drying equipment. With that core equipment came a key customer; Bellamys Organic, who remain a major customer 13 years later.
Over the past 13 years as CEO John has championed growth across the business in its capacity and capabilities. Forager has developed and launched wholesale and retail brands, joint ventures, military contracts and R&D projects as well as the expertise to produce 195 difference freeze-dried products and growing. John’s technical ability, passion for problem solving and investment in people and relationships has attracted the right team members and positioned the company to become a global leading in food and ingredient preservation.
CBDO & Co Founder
Jonty joined John as an equal share business partner in 2014 and took over the CBDO role to lead product development, distribution and drive strategic partnerships. Coming from strong family hospitality roots, Jonty developed an ability to connect with people from a young age – a skill that has proven invaluable in his business development success. Over his impressive 30 year career Jonty has demonstrated performance at the executive level across the sector, thriving in roles ranging from managing hatcheries, hotels, dairies and food distribution businesses.
In addition to his responsibilities at Forager, Jonty is the Managing Director and co-owner of Eden Foods Pty Ltd, a food distribution business supplying independent Tasmanian supermarkets. Since joining Forager, Jonty has been instrumental to the business’s growth, working to develop and distribute Forager’s branded products and assisting companies manufacturing through Forager to develop theirs.
As Forager prepares for an 8-fold capacity increase over coming years, Jonty is leading the charge to expand Forager’s product range, domestic and export footprint and foster strategic relationships.
In 2021 Donna moved into the COO role at Forager. Donna brings a sophisticated suite of skills to the team which she has developed over an impressive 24+ year career as a finance and operational executive. Through her previous roles at KMPG, Forestry Enterprises Australia, Tasmanian Health and Tasfoods, Donna has had exposure to a host of different industries, spending the past 6+ years in food with a focus on FMCG. Donna specialises in finance, strategic business planning, governance, risk management, delivering operational improvement and organisational growth.
In her previous role as CFO of Tasfoods, Donna was able to help lead the business through a significant growth phase and was drawn to Forager after recognising the unique position and scalability of the business and the talent of the existing team. Donna has a broad range of responsibilities at Forager from supply chain management through to marketing support, while she is a key contributor to all aspects of the business her focus and passion lie in driving production efficiencies.