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The future of agribusiness in Southeast Asia

Event Details


Mon 18 Jun 2018


12.00pm until 01.30pm


Asia New Zealand Foundation office, Level 6, DLA Piper Tower, 205 Queen St



The Asia New Zealand Foundation and the ASEAN New Zealand Business Council invite you to a lunch time event at the Foundation's Auckland office to discuss the future of agribusiness in Southeast Asia.

The event will welcome seven of Southeast Asia's top agribusiness entrepreneurs and business leaders, in New Zealand as part of the Foundation's ASEAN Young Business Leaders Initiative. A casual lunch will be served from 12pm before four of the group will take part in an interactive reflection session on what they have learnt in New Zealand and how this relates to agribusiness in Southeast Asia.

The group will have spent a week in New Zealand by this time, spending time at Fieldays and traveling throughout New Zealand engaging with agribusiness entrepreneurs and business leaders across the country. This unique event will provide perspective and the strengths and weakness of the agribusiness sector in New Zealand and provide insight into how New Zealand can do better when engaging in this fascinating and changing region. 

The speakers are:

Grace Sarasit, CP Meiji, Thailand

Grace is the dairy science and technology general manager at CP Meiji, a joint venture between Thailand’s largest private company – CP, and Japan’s market leader in pasteurized milk products – Meiji. It is a leading manufacturer of dairy products in Southeast Asia producing a range a yogurts and milks. Grace has wide experience in research and development. At CP-Meiji, she has developed a range of products including papaya and mango flavoured milk, compound whipping cream and high protein whey chocolate drinks. She has had previous roles at Nestle and Fonterra and has ambitions of setting up a corporate incubator within CP-Meiji.

Wei Wen Ou, Siong Hoong, Malaysia

Wen is the founder and manager of Siong Hoong, a producer of organic mushrooms and organic mushroom-based products. A big focus of Siong Hoong is secondary agriculture waste management and turning spent mushroom substrates into high value organic vermicompost fertilizer. Wen is dedicated to sustainable agriculture and has recently invested in stingless bees to enhance the farm ecosystem by attracting natural predators of mushrooms. Wen has a background in public relations, studying in Kuala Lumpur and in Sheffield in the UK. He is a member of the Commonwealth Emerging Leaders Dialogue as well as of the Youth Agropreneur Programme under Malaysia’s Ministry of Agriculture. He speaks five languages.

Neak Tharen, Natural Garden, Cambodia

Tharen is founder and CEO of Natural Garden, the Cambodian market leader for the production and retail of organic foods. Beginning with one farm and one store in 2008, Natural Garden now has four retail stores and two farms and supports more than 500 farmers in converting from conventional farming to chemical-free organic farming. Natural Garden recently established a wholesale center, a food processing unit and an import business. Tharen has a background in NGO work. He was inspired to establish Natural Garden over his frustration that 70 percent of fruit and vegetables consumed in Cambodia were imported, though 80 percent of the economy is based on agriculture.

Tissa Aunilla, Pipiltin Cocoa, Indonesia

Tissa is the CEO of Pipiltin Cocoa, a bean to bar, single origin, chocolate company, sourcing direct from farmers in Bali, Flores, Aceh, and East Java. Direct sourcing allows Pipiltin to support the sustainability of cocoa farming by working with farmers to promote sustainable practices as well as paying suppliers 40-50 percent more than market price. Pipiltin has four stores in Jakarta and supplies across Java and Bali. It has also recently begun to export to Japan and Singapore. In preparation to founding Pipiltin, Tissa became a Master Chocolatier, studying in Switzerland. Prior to founding Pipiltin, Tissa was a corporate lawyer.


The Asia New Zealand Foundation is pleased to bring you this event in partnership with the ASEAN New Zealand Business Council