The Australasian Association of Convenience Stores (AACS) has made a new key appointment to its team, welcoming Ben Meredith into the newly created role of Strategy and Policy Advisor.

Meredith will be responsible for helping AACS manage strategy, policy development, government, and public relations, while providing guidance on the best approach to driving AACS’s change agenda.

AACS CEO Theo Foukkare welcomed Meredith to the team and outlined the new strategic direction of the association.

“AACS’s investment into Government Advocacy and Strategic Policy development is now five times greater than what we have traditionally spent per annum. We are extremely serious about changing the narrative of stakeholders to deliver on our strategic priorities, which are aligned to protecting convenience retail and ensuring we become stronger, more relevant and an even more important part of consumers local mix of retail offers.”

Meredith is an accomplished, progressive, and cross functional FMCG executive with more than 20-years of experience with global company, Phillip Morris International.

He has worked extensively in leading successful whole of business development strategies, including commercial performance and brand development both domestically and internationally.

Government relations and partnership management have been integrated into his career path over the last six years, having worked in a cross-functional role in corporate affairs. He is passionate about disproportionate legislation being applied by state and federal governments, where the only losers from its implementation are retailers and in turn consumers.

A major career highlight for Meredith has been the mobilisation and creation of a platform for major manufacturers to work together with industry partners on current and future legislative threats, the first in Australia.

Additionally, he was involved with securing $7m of Federal Government investment with the introduction of the Australian Border Force led Illicit Trade Task Force. The consortium has also managed to defeat the proposal of raising the smoking age to 21 in Tasmania three times in the last six years.

Foukkare continued: “In the short time that Ben has been working with AACS, we have made significant progress in developing new relationships with Federal, State and Local authorities, along with other key industry associations.

“Ben is a major asset to AACS’s firepower, and I personally am looking forward to changing the game.”

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