Meet the panel

Meet our panel of experts

David Speers, Political Editor, Sky News (moderator)

David Speers is Political Editor at SKY NEWS and anchor of PM Agenda and The Nation on SKY NEWS National. PM Agenda sees David talk to the key newsmakers and dissect what the day's events will mean. The Nation is a one hour program that allows for one of the most in-depth policy discussions on Australian television. David is one of Australia's most respected political journalists and interviewers.

The Honourable Tim Fischer, Board Member, Australia Crop Diversity Trust

The Honourable Tim Fischer was Minister for Trade and Deputy Prime Minister in the Howard Government  between 1996 – 1999. He is Chairman of FAMU Holdings, a private company, and has a range of business interests, mainly with an export orientation. Mr Fischer has also held the following honorary positions Chair of the Crawford Fund on International Agricultural Research and Chair of the Australian Winemakers Foundation.


General Manager: Trading – Elders International Trading (commenced: January 2014) based in Richmond, Victoria.

Cameron is responsible for the day-to-day management, performance and development of:

• Management of operations of Elders International Trading overseas divisions; Elders Fine Foods – China; JS Brooksbank – New Zealand; PT Elders Indonesia
• Elders International Trading operations for Australian domestic feedlotting for supply to major feedlots & customers
• International livestock exports of beef and dairy cattle to various countries including China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan, Vietnam and Malaysia

With more than 20 years’ experience in the livestock industry, and having performed senior appointments with Landmark (National Agency Director), Livecorp (Chief Executive Officer) and Elders International Trading (Manager Corporate Operations, and Strategy Development Manager), Cameron has deep industry knowledge.

Matthew Cossey, CEO, CropLife Australia

Matthew Cossey commenced as Chief Executive Officer of CropLife Australia in January 2011. Prior to that, he served as a senior executive for one of Australia’s leading defence and technology companies, Raytheon Australia. Before entering the private sector, he was Senior Defence Adviser to the then Shadow Minister for Defence from 1998 to 2002 and before that worked as senior political adviser in the Senate. Matthew is a Director of the Agricultural Biotechnology Council of Australia.

John Ferguson, Senior Economist, Custom Research

John is a Senior Economist at the EIU responsible for providing economic analysis, modeling and forecasts for the global Custom Research business. He has recently moved to Custom Research from the Economics Unit of the EIU where he maintained the various global and country models for the company. In his current role, John provides advice on the methodology and design of technical economic research which helps clients better understand the business environment they operate in.  John also works with the EIU's Global Forecasting Service, focusing on global trade. He has analysed global economic imbalances and helped clients understand the outlook for global trade.

Phil Todd, Global Custom Research Director

Phil is responsible for the EIU’s global custom research business, directing and managing major studies as well as driving the development of new research propositions and sector initiatives. He has designed and delivered studies in market entry analysis and market strategy, market based M&A due diligence, segmentation and quantification, B2B and B2C product development studies and workshops, service strategies. Over a 25-year research career has conducted studies on a country, regional and global basis including projects based in Europe, Singapore, South Africa and the USA.
Phil has a degree in Psychology & English, and a Masters in Computer Science.

President — DuPont Crop Protection

Rik Miller is president – DuPont Crop Protection. He began his career in 1984 in Crop Protection sales. From 1984 to 1995 he held a variety of roles in sales, product and marketing management across the United States and in 1996 was appointed group leader for the DuPont Crop Protection Specialty Business (specialty crops and vegetation management markets). From 1996 to 2005 he was appointed to progressive sales and marketing management positions in Crop Protection.

In 2005, he was named global business leader for DuPont Crop Protection’s diversified specialty, vegetation management, forestry and railroad segments and relocated to Wilmington, Del. One year later, he joined the DuPont Crop Protection leadership team as global marketing director. In 2010, Mr. Miller transferred to Geneva, Switzerland, as regional director, Europe, Middle East and Africa for Crop Protection. He returned to Wilmington, Del., and was named to his current position in February 2011. He serves on CropLife International’s Crop Protection Strategy Council and is actively involved in Future Farmers of America.

Mr. Miller studied at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana, and received his B.S. in Agronomy with an emphasis on plant and soil science and plant biochemistry.