Principal Consultant, Optimum Standard

Like many of us, Belinda Hazell is passionate about food and the stories behind it. She has a long connection with food production, having worked in several key roles within a large multi-division family business, which included her family’s horticulture and mixed farming enterprises. Belinda is Principal Consultant at Optimum Standard, a Tasmanian based consultancy business that is proud to help build better futures for business. She consults across various industry sectors including food production, food manufacturing, waste, transport, shipping, warehousing, and health and disability.

Belinda has a love for the land and how it is farmed, which has seen her become a leading advocate for the agricultural sector. She uses her positive attitude and tireless energy to enable women’s voices to be heard and valued. This is demonstrated by her courage in speaking personally about sexual harassment in rural workplaces which lead to a Tasmanian campaign aimed at improving respect in rural workplaces. She believes that there are many issues impacting rural women that remain invisible until shared.

Belinda is Emeritus Chair of Tasmanian Women in Agriculture – an organisation that was founded in 1994, and which now has over 2,500 women connected to its network. TWiA is just one organisation that Belinda has led that provides a platform for shared conversation.

Using her professional qualifications and expertise, Belinda actively contributes to fresh produce food and environmental safety and is Deputy Chair of Freshcare Limited – Australia’s largest on-farm Standards owner. Over many years, she has contributed to a range of horticulture industry projects, delivering research and development outcomes across the sector. She is a Director with Rural Business Tasmania; Director on the Board of the Tasmanian Environmental Protection Authority and has held various local, state, and national leadership roles.

In 2018, Belinda was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to ‘Investigate the use of horticultural QA Standards to stay ahead of social license demands’. Out of this research, #howandwhywefarm was born; using the power of stories to build connection and promote that what growers do is for social purpose, growing amazing produce for the health and wellbeing of communities and Australian consumers.

Belinda is a triplet and can sometimes get confused with her sisters who are also dynamic achievers in the chosen careers. She is a proud mother to three daughters and hopes that through her leadership achievements, shows that anything is possible.