New CEO for Potatoes NZ

Potatoes New Zealand has appointed Chris Claridge as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Potatoes New Zealand Inc. Chairman Stuart Wright said he was delighted to welcome Mr Claridge to the organisation, which has a target of doubling New Zealand fresh and processed potato exports by 2025.

Mr Claridge studied horticulture at Lincoln University before gaining a Masters in biotechnology at the University of Canterbury

He founded one of New Zealand’s first organic food exporting businesses and led the Carrickmore dairy export company, developing extensive links in China. He also helped establish the New Zealand Infant Formula Exporters Association and is a member of the Royal Society and the New Zealand Institute of Food Science and Technology.

“Horticulture, particularly the application of technology to biological systems, has been an enduring passion for me so I’m very pleased to step up to the challenge of lifting performance in the New Zealand potato sector,” he said. “Potatoes are the third most important crop in the world after rice and wheat and there is great potential to add value. Potatoes New Zealand Inc. is very well positioned to pursue our strategic goals of continuous productivity improvement to increase profitability per hectare and lifting the domestic market by 50 per cent by 2025.”

Mr Claridge is also a former Dean of Business Studies and Senior Lecturer in Management at the Christchurch College of Education, worked as a business advisor for Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce, and ran his own full service agency, specialising in marketing communications, for 11 years.

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