Interview with Alison Watkins

CEO GrainCorp

I think the global economy is going to be a real patchwork over the next few years. So, it’s going to be really crucial to consider where you’re playing as a company.

I think there is no doubt it’s the demographic trends that are going to have the biggest impact for us as a grain company. So, the growth in population, but also, the growth in affluence which means that people want to eat more protein.

I think too often in our industry it’s been a game of sort of short-term interests and a reluctance to really galvanise everybody behind the vision for what is possible.

I think our Board and our management team would like to be remembered for transforming GrainCorp from a single business, a regulated entity, into a truly international Australian agribusiness and into being Australia’s leading international agribusiness.

As part of PwC's 17th Annual Global CEO Survey, we spoke with Alison Watkins, CEO of GrainCorp. In this short video, Alison talks about the impact of demographic shifts and population growth on the grain industry, the role of government in improving the business environment, and the importance of taking a long-term view to build trust with stakeholders.

Alison Watkins is an experienced Chief Executive Officer and ASX 20 company Board Director, with wide ranging and international experience in the agriculture, food processing, consumer, retail, financial and professional services sectors. She is a member of the Corporate Governance Committee and is entitled to attend the Business Risk Committee, Board Audit Committee and Human Resources Committee meetings ex-officio. Ms Watkins joined the company and the Board in July 2010.

Ms Watkins has held a number of Executive roles, including CEO of Berri Limited, Executive Chair of Mrs Crocket’s Kitchen Pty Ltd, CEO of the Bennelong Group and is a former partner of McKinsey & Company. She was formerly a Non-executive Director of Just Group Limited and Woolworths Limited, and is currently a Non-executive Director of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited.

At the time of filming Alison Watkins was Managing Director and CEO of GrainCorp. Alison will take up the position of Group Managing Director, Coca Cola Amatil Ltd in March 2014.

These interviews contain the opinions and views of the CEOs interviewed, and do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of PwC.