Biodiversity and Food Composition in Oceania

  OCEANIAFOODS was established in 1987.

OCEANIAFOODS is the Pacific regional operation of INFOODS (the International Network of Food Data Systems), which was established in 1984 under the auspices of the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).  INFOODS is a worldwide network of food composition experts aiming to improve the quality, availability, reliability, and use of food composition data. Countries under its umbrella are Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Communities (SPC, formerly the South Pacific Commission), which represents 22 Pacific Island governments. The convenorship rotates among these three regions.

The OCEANIAFOODS 2023 is hosted by Fiji at the University of the South Pacific. This conference will host food composition experts as well as students from across Oceania and globally with delegates from diverse backgrounds including research, public health, food technology, and information technology. Food composition data is needed to properly underpin not just public health and individual health care, but many areas of public policy, including the environment, sustainability, food security, and agriculture.


 PTFI: Unlocking Food Composition Data for Human and Planetary Health

 Dr Roy Steiner, Senior Vice President (Food Initiative)

The Rockefeller Foundation, USA

Roy Steiner, PhD, is the Senior Vice President for the Food Initiative at The Rockefeller Foundation, where he leads a team focused on creating access to nourishing food for millions of people in the U.S. and around the world, supporting scientific advances in human nutrition and sustainable food production, and carrying forward the Foundation’s enduring commitment to a sustainable Green Revolution in Africa. Roy comes to The Rockefeller Foundation from the Omidyar Network, where he served as Director of the Intellectual Capital team since 2015, focused on helping Omidyar achieve its strategic objectives at all levels including in the agriculture space. He dedicated nearly a decade of his career to leadership positions at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he was a founding member of the Agricultural Development initiative and was instrumental in working with The Rockefeller Foundation to develop the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, or AGRA. His work for Gates was central to the creation of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency, or ATA, which helps accelerate the growth and transformation of Ethiopia’s agriculture sector, and dozens of other partnerships that are critical to the fight against food insecurity around the world. Before the Gates Foundation, Roy spent eight years in Africa where he was founder and CEO of Cyberplex Africa, one of the largest web development and knowledge management companies in southern Africa. Early in his career, he was an original founder and managing director of Africa Online, which pioneered the delivery of Internet service in Zimbabwe. Additionally, he was a founding member of CH2MHill’s Strategies Group and has consulted for McKinsey & Company in the areas of technology innovation, growth strategies and international development.

Underutilized and Indigenous Foods

Professor Andrew Lowe,

Interim Director, Environment Institute, University of Adelaide, Australia

His research aims to develop and apply ecological and genomic analyses, to understand, monitor and better manage biodiversity, particularly adaptation in the face of the anthropogenic threats of habitat fragmentation, invasive species and climate change. Andrew collaborated with over 300 researchers from nearly 100 institutes and 30 countries. He is passionate about communicating science to a general audience, particularly on the threats and solutions to biodiversity pressures, and used these skills to the full during a recent term as Acting Director of the South Australian Museum. He leads a number of national and regional research programs, including the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) for which he was Associate Science Director, and established the Transects for Environmental Monitoring and Decision-making (TREND) program. He works to develop partnerships with industry and government and act as the key interface with partners across the area of food innovation, and help maximise benefits to the community and the University of its World-class Research and teaching capability in this area.

Celebrity Chef Robert Oliver,

Executive Director, Pacific Islands Foods Revolution, New Zealand

Robert Oliver is a New Zealand chef who was raised in Fiji and Samoa. He has developed restaurants in New York, Miami, Las Vegas and Sydney, “farm to table” resorts in the Caribbean and food programs feeding homeless people and African immigrants with AIDS in New York City. Robert returned to the South Pacific to write his first book, Me’a Kai: The Food and Flavours of the South Pacific (Random House, New Zealand), with Dr. Tracy Berno and Fiji photographer Shiri Ram. Written with a development mission to connect Pacific agriculture to the regions tourism sector, Me’a Kai stunned the food world by winning top prize, “Best Cookbook in the World 2010,” at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Paris, considered to be the Pulitzers of cookbooks, beating the books from NOMA and The New York Times. At the 2015 Frankfurt Bookfair, Me’a Kai was named the 3rd Best Cookbook in the World for 1995-2015. In 2013, Robert released “Mea’ai Samoa: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of Polynesia” (Random House). In May 2014, this book won the “Best TV Chef Cookbook in the World 2013” at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in Beijing. Robert is Chef Ambassador for Le Cordon Bleu, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands and is the presenter of REAL PASIFIK, a television series based on the food culture of the South Pacific. He was a keynote speaker at TEDx Auckland in 2013 and was one of the authors chosen to represent New Zealand at the Frankfurt Bookfair in 2012. In 2011 & 2012 Robert was Consulting Chef for NZ Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) in China, based in Shanghai. In 2014 and 2015, Robert is appeared as one of the judges in the New Zealand version of the hit prime time cooking show “My Kitchen Rules”.



Conference Dates: 10-11 August 2023

Conference Venue: The Pearl South Pacific Resort, Pacific Harbour, Fiji

Conference Dinner: 10 August 2023


30 June 2023: Early Bird registration
31 July 2023: Late Registration
30 June: Late Prof Bill Student Award application

Send your abstracts to or 


Early bird

Student 50 USD (oral or poster)
Regular – 350 USD (oral or poster)
Day Pass – 400 USD


Student- 100 USD (oral or poster)
Regular – 450 USD (oral or poster)
Day Pass – 500 USD

Payment details

(For further information on registration with USP and direct payment with the Pearl South Pacific Resort)


Conference Dinner: Included in registration

Registration fee includes conference material, Opening ceremony Bula shirt, morning and afternoon teas and lunch.

Optional tour and networking dinner package – 120 USD

Date: 11 August 2023

Includes sunset boat Cruise and traditional Fijian dinner from 6 – 9 pm

Session Topics

  • The state of play (Updates from Oceania)
  • Towards an update of the Pacific Islands Food Composition Tables
  • Underutilized and Indigenous Foods
  • Access and benefit sharing
  • The future for food composition data
  • PTFI: Unlocking Food Composition Data for Human and Planetary Health

Keynote Speaker

Professor Barbara Burlingame
Massey University and Chair IUNS Taskforce on Sustainable Diets

Barbara Burlingame is a nutrition scientist with 35 years’ experience. Her qualifications include undergraduate degrees in Nutrition Science and Environmental Toxicology from the University of California, Davis, and a PhD from Massey University. Since 2016 she has been Professor of Nutrition and Food Systems at Massey (adjunct since 2019). From 1998 through 2014 she worked at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as senior officer, chief, deputy director and acting director of the Nutrition Division. Prior to joining FAO, Professor Burlingame spent 11 years as Nutrition Programme Leader at the New Zealand Institute for Crop & Food Research (now Plant & Food Research), during which time she was periodically the coordinator of OCEANIAFOODS.

From 1994-2011, she was the director of the International Network of Food Data Systems (UNU/FAO INFOODS) and for 15 years was editor-in-chief of the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. Prof Burlingame is the author and editor of hundreds of papers, books, book chapters, UN reports, and policy documents in the areas food composition, biodiversity for food and nutrition, sustainable diets, traditional food systems of indigenous peoples, human nutrient requirements, and food policy/regulation. She is a scientific adviser/board member of several foundations, panels and academies; Specialty Chief Editor of Frontiers in Nutrition; chair of the IUNS Task Force on Sustainable Diets; and independent consultant to several regional and global projects and programmes. Her current research focus is sustainable diets and food systems in Small Island Developing States, including food composition.

11th Oceania Foods Conference 2023

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