Food & Nutrition Security – The Biosecurity, Health, Trade Nexus

13-14 December 2021, Canberra


Mr Rob Kaan, MBA

Managing Director for Australia, New Zealand, Japan & Korea, Corteva Agriscience

Currently based in Sydney, Australia, he is responsible for the strategic leadership and commercial activities for the Australia / New Zealand and Japan / Korea business units.

Rob has worked in Agricultural businesses since 1998.  He spent the first part of his career in commercial roles in Sydney, Perth and regional locations such as Tamworth and Moree, NSW before relocating to the United States in 2007 to lead global product portfolios.  In 2009, Rob relocated to Kuala Lumper, Malaysia to lead the SE Asia business units before returning to the United States again in 2011 to lead global portfolios for crop protection across global corn and soybean markets until 2016.

View from the private sector – trust and purpose

In 2016, Rob returned to Australia to lead local businesses through the DowDuPont merger and integration through to the final formation of Corteva Agriscience on June 1, 2019.

Rob completed his Master of Business Administration at the University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia.

He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Sydney, Australia.

Rob is married to Rhonda and has two kids, Oliver (16) and Harriet (14).  Hobbies include surfing, skiing, golf, running, reading and guitar.


Global agriculture is facing many dynamic trends and emerging issues that present both challenges and incredible opportunities for evolution and growth. Key issues such as food security, consumer influence, biosecurity, labour shortage, water utilization, climate change, deforestation, people talent, sustainability, trust in science/business/technology and smooth trade flow make just a short list of major drivers that require consideration, proactive investment, and decisive action now from many stakeholders to ensure industry success in the long term.

The urgency and importance of these trends are different by country and many trends and issues connect and converge. Developed countries, like Australia, can play a pivotal role in evolving quickly with these trends and leveraging our experience and learnings appropriately to developing nations.

I will focus on three key areas and share how the private sector is viewing these in both Australia and developing nations, share examples of how these are being addressed in various countries and offer suggestions for management of these issues in the future.

I will share examples of private/public collaboration that can help address these trends and touch on the important responsibility of the private sector in embracing Corporate Social Responsibility.

Smooth trade flow of agricultural produce is essential to the development of all nations and in meeting global food security challenges. Influences on trade flow are diverse, ranging from political drivers, industry direction, regulatory structures, and food chain stakeholders. Collaboration and transparency between key stakeholders are essential in managing future emerging trends that will impact trade flow.

Biosecurity issues continue to impact agriculture production. Recent examples such as FAW across Asia and the industry response to this serves as a good case study to assess the importance of multi-stakeholder, cross-country collaboration for rapid response to these issues.

Technology investment, development and acceptance is essential in agriculture to address current issues and capture future opportunities from within the sector. Technology partnerships with a clear alignment of objectives and a transparent regulatory framework is essential to attract required investment.

Abstract from Rob Kaan – Corteva Agriscience