Melanie Ruffell was appointed to the new role of Stakeholder Relationship Manager in mid 2018. In this capacity, Melanie works collaboratively with internal stakeholders (Riddet Institute partner organisations and scientists) and external stakeholders (industry partners, government agencies, Māori and Pacific stakeholders and other entities like Food HQ, National Science Challenges etc.) to help ensure that Riddet outcomes will add value to New Zealand’s agri-food sector and help support sustainable communities, and that project delivery meets the Institute’s mission and contractual responsibilities.

Melanie has extensive experience working in high-value nutrition, working closely with relevant stakeholders from academia, government and industry. With a BSc in Human Nutrition (Otago), her specialism began in the UK where she spent 15 years working with food companies, nutrition scientists, regulators and policy-makers on health claims for food. In 2015, Melanie returned to New Zealand, joining a premium health food manufacturer and global exporter, then worked in a business development role with an international provider of agri-tech QA testing services. Melanie particularly enjoys growing strategic partnerships and working with diverse, inclusive teams to help achieve common goals and equity across the agri-food sector.