AFAB’s CEO, Tony Green’s Longstanding Legacy in Foodservice

Jun 27, 2024

Introducing Tony Green, whose passion for foodservice led him from behind the stove to reshaping the future of hospitality advocacy.

Tony Green is a seasoned professional of the foodservice industry with more than 3 decades of experience. We spoke on his rise from the early days as a Chef, his influential roles in sales and marketing with some of Australia’s leading food companies and then leading the Australian Foodservice Advocacy Body (AFAB). Learn more about Tony’s journey and his deep commitment to the foodservice sector, including how his involvement with Fine Food Australia has played a supportive role in his efforts to advance the industry.

From Chef’s Whites to Industry Heights

Tony’s career began in the the kitchen, finding his passion for food working as a chef for 12 years. However, family life came calling, prompting a career shift. “I wanted to start a family and didn’t think that long hours in the kitchen were going to work well as a parent,” Tony recalls. This decision led him to roles with giants like Simplot, George Weston Foods, and Unilever, focusing on the manufacturing, sales, and marketing sides of the industry and foodservice distribution with NAFDA FS as GM of Sales & Marketing. Transitioning out of the kitchen and into corporate roles allowed him to shape the foodservice landscape on a larger scale.

Finding AFAB Amidst Crisis

The onset of COVID-19 marked a pivotal moment for Tony. It was a time when the industry felt it lacked “a big enough voice with policy makers and media.” This led to the creation of Australian Foodservice Advocacy Body, or AFAB, a new industry association focusing on advocacy. AFAB was born out of necessity, as Tony puts it, “It represents the whole of the value chain, and for us that means primary producers, manufacturers, distributors, hospitality and then service providers. There is no association that represents our industry as a whole.” Tony explains that AFAB’s priority is tackling challenges like data, trends and insights via their Commercial project, food waste via their Sustainability project and the all-important Attraction and Retention of our industry’s employees.

Fine Food Australia as a Platform for Growth and Advocacy

Tony’s relationship with Fine Food Australia has been significant throughout his career, from his early days as a chef to his wider goals with AFAB. “Myself as a visitor was the first engagement with Fine Food, as a Chef, I came to it every year very much with a chef’s mind on.” As the years ticked by, and Tony’s roles evolved as an exhibitor and speaker, he utilised the event to explore new products and prioritise relationships and networks within the industry. He shares “I just felt that face to face comms and exhibiting was super important. It was a part of our contact strategy. Lead generation should be one of your key KPI’s as a business at trade shows, I think you’ll find that it’s something that becomes valuable and has an ROI.”

 

 

A Continued Passion for Foodservice

Despite the challenges, Tony’s dedication to the foodservice industry remains. He is inspired by the industry’s core of hospitality, which, to him, means “making people feel comfortable, making people feel appreciated and loved.” These simple values fuel his continued commitment to enhancing the industry, advocating for better conditions to meet the inevitable challenges ahead.

Fine Food Australia has not only been of value in every twist and turn of Tony’s career developments but is also a key platform that supports his vision for a more connected and sustainable foodservice industry with AFAB. As Fine Food celebrates its 40th year, Tony’s story is a testament to the long-term partnerships and evolving opportunities that the event provides, proving that the foodservice industry, much like the commitment to Fine Food itself, is served best when shared with passion and perseverance.

 

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