Jen Scoular

CEO of New Zealand Avocado to step aside after 12 years at the helm

Linda Flegg, Chair of NZ Avocado Growers’ Association announced the resignation of their CEO Jen Scoular after 12 years in the role.

“Jen has served us tirelessly over the past 12 years and her achievements along the way are many. When Jen took up the role after a four year term as a trade diplomat in Hamburg, Germany, our industry was struggling and lacked engagement, communication and systems, which gave Jen a lot to focus on,” says Linda Flegg.

“Under her leadership industry value has increased from $82m in 2011-12 to $231m in 2021, and the New Zealand market value from $19m to $62m in 2021-22. During her tenure the industry successfully achieved market access for avocados into both the China and India market, joined the biosecurity partnership with the government and achieved the first horticulture primary growth partnership in 2014, which finished in December 2022."

The successful primary growth partnership, with Crown investment allowed real change in how the industry operated, with strong external investment across a number of areas, where investment from grower levies alone was not enough to make the required change.

Flegg says that: “The 10th World Avocado Congress here in New Zealand was a fitting finale for Jen and with five years in the planning, against the odds of covid and border closures, it was a phenomenal success.”

The sector is faced with significant increases in supply not yet matched by investment into market demand, and global media seeks to challenge the sustainability of the sector. The congress shared some very strong actions being taken across sustainability, in most producing countries, and activated a call to collectively take back the narrative on sustainability.

“With 1,160 delegates from 33 countries, the congress was a wonderful opportunity to put our industry and New Zealand on the world stage. Field days took 760 delegates on 18 buses to 10 different locations, allowing many of the 750 overseas delegates to see the innovation and passion on our avocados orchards. Delegates loved the open hearted welcome from the kiwi hosts", says Linda Flegg.  

Jen will remain in the role until mid August. She has always loved the part of her role that is out on orchards meeting growers and seeing the innovation happening on our orchards. Jen remains an avocado grower and member of the organisation.

Flegg commented: “On behalf of the Board, growers and industry parties we thank Jen for her commitment to delivering value to growers through a very strong growth period, and growing the visibility of our sector, and of avocados, both in New Zealand and globally. She has left a legacy that will require some big shoes to fill.”

For more information:
Matthew Ball
NZ Avocado Growers’ Association
Tel: +64 021 081 94486

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