Enabling Agri-Food Innovation

MacTavish West will help you get to the next level.

We’ll aim to understand your food and agri-food business objectives, share our knowledge and experience and help you identify and develop appropriate opportunities.

Let’s have a chat and see where to, from here.

About Us: We are a family-owned business: small but effective.

In addition to Hazel and Darren’s expertise outlined below, we have access to a wide pool of internationally recognised, experienced associates who can be called upon on a project by project basis, as needed, to ensure that we can offer the most lean and agile team for your project. Our team includes food developers, recipe developers, food technologists, artists, videographers, designers and marketeers.

Dr Hazel MacTavish-West

Creative Food Innovator & VegDoctor, Churchill Fellow

Qualifications:  BscAgric (Hons, Syd), PhD (Tas). CAg.

Hazel is a food scientist with 25+ years’ experience in plant and food science, natural flavours and fragrances, colours and bioactives. In Australia, Hazel works with farmers and primary producers, food manufacturers, retailers and consumers, to create tasty, practical and on-trend new food and beverage products. Hazel provides food innovation training to the Australian food industry, especially the vegetable sector and regional agri-food producers. Connect with Hazel on LinkedIn for regular updates www.linkedin.com/in/vegdoctor/

Darren West

Electronics and Software Designer, Technology Evangelist, Entrepreneur.

Qualifications: BSc(Hons) MPhil CEng MIET MIEAust CPEng

Experience:  Darren is an electronic engineer, scientist and business entrepreneur with key skills in design and prototyping of complex audio visual and computer hardware. Electronic, software, or FPGA contract design services. Darren has recently embarked on a PhD at UTas: Working title:  Smart Soil Sensors for the Vegetable Industry; as part of the Soil CRC project 2.2.02 ‘Smart’ soil sensors, sub project:- Self-learning moisture sensors. 

We create new food and drink products, including alcoholic beverages such as cider, and gin.  We keep up to speed with food trends both local and global: consumer behaviour, retail and marketing trends, value-adding and packaging innovations, science and technology.

Success! The range of gins we developed for Hellfire Bluff were all recently listed in the 100 Hottest Australian & New Zealand Gins for 2018 in Ginuary 2019.  Here’s the story of their development: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/development-hellfire-bluff-gin-range-dry-ginuary-hazel-mactavish-west/

We can help you identify and develop a strategy to grow your food, beverage or agri-business in the right direction by providing you with the most appropriate and timely decision-making and innovation tools.

Whether it’s using your resources more efficiently, or identifying and developing appropriate innovations to take your business to the next level: we combine our business nous with scientific, technical and engineering expertise and unique, real-world experience to make a real difference to your business.

Masterclasses and Workshops: We have developed a series of new food innovation workshops, whether you are a start-up, SME or BIG food.  Check out our facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/foodinnovationworkshops/ ) for upcoming events near you.

The World is a complicated place, and technology is constantly evolving.  We can help you navigate this landscape to identify and utilise the best and most appropriate technology solutions for your business.

We can help turn ‘Big Data’ into decision-making information, and develop tailor-made solutions to fit your needs. Talk to us about sensors, data wrangling and bespoke solutions.

What our clients are saying about us.

News: Food & Beverage Innovation Workshops

We have developed a series of all new food and beverage innovation workshops for 2019. Inspire, empower, and connect local and regional food and beverage businesses and start-ups with this series of capability-building workshops led by industry-experienced, retail savvy and enthusiastic facilitators. The 2019 program of workshops and masterclasses are tailored for start-ups, scale-ups and established businesses wanting to develop, diversify and export a wide range of food and beverage products.  If you are a regional business developer, a food cluster, a grower group or association – the next step is to get in touch with me, to find out more information and for us to organise a workshop to meet your needs.

  • There was a 31% improvement in participants’ self-rated level of knowledge regarding innovation, trends and ideas during the workshop.
  • “A must-visit before embarking on a value-added product adventure”. Michael Tabarth, Fruit Growers Tasmania.
  • “Really valuable use of time. Hearing industry stories; meeting and talking with fantastic industry people; product development exercises”. Katrina Durham, University of Tasmania.
  • “Very good and energetic; good ideas from all, and good “buzz” in the room”. Professor Tom Ross, University of Tasmania.
  • “Discussing real issues with those who are in the game, helps us all to find solutions”. Sally Dakis, Richmond Cherries.

News: The Illustrated VegDoctor!

Hazel MacTavish-West has teamed up with Tasmanian artist Rhona MacTavish (also Hazel’s daughter), to develop “The VegDoctor’s Illustrated Field & Fork Guide to Potent Plants (Volume 1)”. The guide is a zine (mini-magazine) aimed at adults, talking about all the fabulous things in plants that make them scientifically interesting, the health benefits, plus some pop culture and recipes, all jazzed up with beautiful illustrations from Rhona. The Field & Fork Guide is also designed by Rhona, and printed in hard copy as a 16 page zine. You can get your own copy of Volume 1 by emailing info@vegdoctor.com.au or going to www.vegdoctor.com.au to buy one online. Not available in digital as yet.

The new zine about plants and illustrated and designed by Rhona MacTavish

Doctor is Churchill Fellow

Hazel completed a Churchill Fellowship* including a study tour of Europe in early/mid 2018 to investigate the opportunities to incorporate more fruit and vegetables into value-added, convenient, healthy foods.  She focused on opportunities relevant to Australian fruit and vegetable producers, especially around value-adding and utilisation of more of the crop. You can download her report by clicking here (downloadable pdf) www.churchilltrust.com.au

Find Us

MacTavish West Pty Ltd.

445C Macquarie Street,

South Hobart,

Tasmania 7004,


ABN 45325280216

ACN 145460877

We are in the two-way section of Macquarie Street, on the right hand side as you head towards the mountain (if you get to ‘The Lost Sock’ Laundrette you have gone too far).  No. 445 houses a balloon shop at the front, and we are in a ground floor unit, behind.  Drive down the ‘SAMCO’ driveway and veer left, there will be parking just outside our unit if we know you are coming.