Apple and Pear Australia Ltd (APAL) is pleased to announce the appointment of Justin Smith to the role of Industry Services & Export Manager.
CEO Phil Turnbull said redressing a historical imbalance of investment and focus, particularly in terms of market access and re engaging in export markets, sits firmly core of the new Apple & Pear Industry Strategy.
“The appointment of an Industry Services and Readiness Manager signals the commencement of our Market Access and Export Readiness project which aims to optimise growers’ abilities to take part in export.”
The Apple & Pear market currently relies on a single domestic market to absorb increasing product volume with overall exports declining from above 18% twenty-years ago, to below 3% of production: “It’s an inconvenient truth that the more you grow, the more you have to sell,” says Phil,
“Productivity gains indicate our growers are operating at the leading edge of best practice globally, but without commensurate focus on developing markets for supply, we risk inadvertently contributing to flat and declining pricing.”
On the job ahead: “Justin’s task is to grow awareness of export opportunities, trade and certification requirements, and ultimately help growers’ position themselves – and their product – to take advantage of high potential overseas markets,” says Phil.
“Justin has extensive experience in developing greenfields teams and businesses, often operating in some pretty challenging, new markets,”
“With over a decade of experience in commercial operations management in both FMCG and retail, Justin brings invaluable business savvy to this position and will play a key role in accelerating our export plans for both apples and pears and lifting overall Industry profitability.”
Prior to joining APAL, Justin served as a senior procurement manager for ASX-listed Belamys Organic, Coles and Murray Goulburn Co-Operative, where he had responsibilities for leading and executing procurement and operational strategy across highly strategic categories, including CAPEX spend and merchandise.
Justin will be based out of the APAL Melbourne office, although expects to spend a significant portion of his time on the road, working directly with growers and key export stakeholders here and overseas.
As part of his induction to the role, Justin will undertake a tour of growing regions, developing his understanding of growers’ capabilities, key concerns and aspirations for taking part in export.