Foodmach director and industry identity Peter Marks has died, aged 66, from cancer, leaving a gap in the company and in the packaging industry. The Foodmach team pays tribute to his fellowship, leadership and expertise.
In a statement from Foodmach, CEO Earle Roberts said, “It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of our friend and colleague, Peter Marks, who passed away on the 10th of February, aged 66, from cancer. His absence will be deeply felt by the entire Foodmach team.”
Marks held the position of director of Capability and Export for the company and has been a central figure in the Australian packaging industry for decades.
He started with Foodmach in 1977 and, together with four coworkers, led a management buyout in 2002. Marks and his co-directors have worked full time within the business since then, nurturing the team through year-on-year growth. In his 44 years with the company, he worked in design, manufacturing, project management, installations, sales, estimating and R&D.
Roberts said, “Peter was a visionary whose warmth and empathy touched everyone. He was loved by many in the wider packaging industry from customers to partners and competitors alike. Our thoughts are with his wife Maggie, his daughter, Steph and his son and daughter-in-law Cameron and Roberta.”
Foodmach finance director, Ian Whiting, said, “Foodmach’s Echuca factory is like a family unit, and Peter was one of our most important members. We will miss his dry wit and can-do philosophy.”
Operations director, Dallas Coote, said, “Our personal heartbreak aside, we can never replace Peter’s special kind of leadership. He somehow managed to be actively connected to everyone in the business across all departments. He led with the kind of enthusiasm for a great idea that made us all want to dig in and help.”
Marks was the driving force behind Foodmach’s recent Project Med-Con, which saw the company re-engineering Australia’s only medical mask machine in 60 days. His career highlight was the award-winning Robomatrix, which set the standard for high speed palletising and fast product changeovers in Australia.
Fellow Foodmach director, Geoff Murdoch, said, “Peter’s true legacy is a thriving Australian business that will continue to provide a livelihood for hundreds of talented engineers, designers, manufacturing and trades people and their families. It has been a privilege to work by his side.”
Editor's note: Peter Marks was recognised in PKN's 60 of the Best list in 2020 for his ingenuity, depth of experience and engineering expertise that led to innovative developments and patents for Foodmach, and set new standards for the Australian machinery manufacturing sector.
The PKN team extends its condolences to all who feel the loss of this valuable and valued member of our industry. Rest in peace, Peter Marks.