New Zealand Apples and Pears appoints two new associate directors

New Zealand Apples and Pears (NZAPI) has announced the two appointments to its 2022 Associate Director programme. Freshmax Exports Asia Sales Manager Greg Sutherland and Mr. Apple Export Sales Executive Naomi Mannering will join the NZAPI board in 2022 as Associate Directors.

The Associate Director programme was introduced in 2019 as a way for NZAPI to grow its future governance and representation pool to provide the board’s selection committee with a pipeline of aspiring directors who have both the knowledge and training for what is involved in governing such an organisation, and in general, acquaint up and coming pipfruit industry managers with the governance of the industry body.

“The programme offers successful candidates a chance to work alongside the NZAPI board and to be mentored by directors, along with receiving the relevant New Zealand Institute of Directors’ training,” says NZAPI board chair Richard Punter.

“The apple industry has faced unprecedented challenges in the past two years and the ensuing labour shortages, and there is significant pressure on the broader New Zealand food industry to innovate to remain competitive both domestically and globally. We need trained directors from all areas of the industry’s value chain to be an effective and relevant governance board.”

Both Greg and Naomi have extensive experience in the pipfruit industry. Greg has spent 22 years in the industry while Naomi, who grew up on an apple orchard, has spent most of her adult life in industry roles, first with Fern Ridge Fresh and then with Mr. Apple.

“My favourite part of my role at Freshmax is setting up international programmes for our apples and pears that the orchard team have put 12 months of hard work and energy into, and then seeing the passion that our customers have for what we grow,” says Greg. “I’m looking forward to joining the NZAPI Associate Director programme to learn more about governance and industry relations.”

Naomi says she would like to improve her commercial and governance nous so she can make a positive impact on the industry.

“Now more than ever we need people who have can bring an alternative perspective and who can advocate for the industry. I would like to increase my ability to think laterally to take on the challenges we face in the ever-changing environment.”

The programme’s 2021 associate directors, Kurt Livingston and Catherine Wedd, have now completed their board term, with Catherine voted on to the NZAPI board at the AGM in August.

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