The industry is saddened with the announcement of the passing of Baden Ngan Kee – a much loved and valued team member, who is widely acknowledged as one of New Zealand’s most effective and passionate advocates for the FMCG and retail industries.
“Baden had a remarkable career, working across a number of cherished New Zealand brands, but we’d like to think his time here at Foodies was where he brought all that expertise and passion to bear. We will miss his ability to challenge the status quo with good humour, insight, decisiveness and energy – and our hearts go out to his beloved family; Kath and children Ruby, Tobey and Eddie," said Chris Quin, CEO Foodstuffs North Island.
Baden’s career covered virtually every key category when it comes to products customers love – whether wine (Mudhouse), chocolate (Cadbury) and cheese (Mainland Foods and Fonterra Brands).
“When Baden moved to Foodies, he was charged with steering the Merchandise team to deliver the products customers need and want in our stores, untapping innovative foods and groceries and exploring new ways to deliver them. He hadn’t been with us that long when he received a shock diagnosis of lung cancer – which as a non-smoker, he fought with dignity and courage.”
That courage played out in other ways – especially as he campaigned for better treatment options for other patients. His personal battle became very public – and he is universally applauded for doing this. His battle was also one of the issues which kick-started the Foodies Foundation; set up to support the 22,000 team members in Foodstuffs North Island in times of need.
Colleagues tell tales of how Baden never shied away from the tough stuff at work as well. “He really challenged you and supported you – you honestly believed you could do anything when you had his backing. It sounds cheesy in this day and age – but he absolutely loved this crazy FMCG and retail business and managed to get all of his team on board with his excitement and vision for how it makes a difference to millions of people every week," said Brendon Lawry, former colleague and now CEO Liquorland.
“Even when Baden was terribly ill, he wanted to be with the Foodies team and more recently focused his attention on our Corporate Social Responsibility strategy. Like everyone here, he wanted to leave the world in a better place for future generations, and he played a big role in helping us bring this to life," said Quin.
Arrangements for Baden’s farewell will be advised in due course.
Remembrance book for Baden
Foodstuffs would like to pull together a remembrance book to pay tribute to Baden, as a gift to the Ngan Kee family.
If you have a picture, memory, story about your time with Baden, or message you would like Foodstuffs to include in the book please email Foodstuffs Communications.