New leadership team for Plant & Food Research is named

Plant & Food Research has announced a refreshed senior management team following the promotion of David Hughes to CEO and the resignations of two senior leaders after lengthy terms of service.

The senior team has been increased by one to seven with the creation of two science leadership roles, replacing the Chief Operating Officer role.  One will head Science Services; the other will be responsible for Technology Development.

The appointments are:

• Philippa Stevens to Group General Manager Science Services

• Dr Kieran Elborough to Group General Manager Technology Development

• Dr Gavin Ross to Group General Manager Marketing & Innovation

• Quentin Smith to Group General Manager Finance, Infrastructure and Information

CEO David Hughes said:

“In Philippa, Kieran and Gavin we have three highly experienced and capable leaders stepping up from within the organisation to join our senior team at an exciting time of renewal.

“Quentin joins Plant & Food Research on 20 August. He brings a breadth of financial, commercial and property development experience and is looking forward to joining an organisation committed to contributing to the success of New Zealand’s plant and food sectors.

“I look forward to working with them to build a cohesive and successful senior team, and also develop the contribution by our wider management team. Results matter – we all want to see our world class science positively impacting New Zealand – but equally important is getting results in the right way.

“Our refreshed senior team will model an authentic, open and supportive culture, which is essential across our organisation if we are to successfully deliver world-class science and a business strategy shift over the next few years.”

As Group General Manager Science Services, Ms Stevens’ leadership will ensure the fee for service part of the organisation produces high quality science and generates the financial resources needed to achieve our goals.  With a Bachelor of Science (Zoology) and a Master of Science, Ms Stevens has been employed at Plant & Food Research and its predecessors since 1989; from 2009 as the General Manager Science for Bioprotection, responsible for approximately 150 researchers, and for three years prior to this as the Group Leader for Bioprotection. Reporting to Ms Stevens will be the General Managers Science of the Bioprotection and Sustainable Production portfolios.

As Group General Manager Technology Development, Dr Elborough will lead the growth of our technology development activities and the profitable growth of royalty revenues. With a BSc Honours and a PhD, Dr Elborough has been General Manager of New Cultivar Innovation since 2012. Before that he was the GM of Science, Food Innovation (2009-2012) and Business Development Manager Functional Foods (2006-2009) and, earlier, worked at ViaLactia Biosciences Limited for six years as Chief Scientist Forage & Rumen. Reporting to Dr Elborough will be the GMs of the Food Innovation, Seafood Technologies and New Cultivar Innovation portfolios.

As Group General Manager Marketing & Innovation, Dr Ross will champion excellence in customer relationships, create new business models and enhance our brand. Dr Ross has a BSc (Hons) 1st Class and a PhD and joined our predecessor organisation in 1988 as a scientist. His career developed into general management and business development with the organisation before he left for two years to join Agrigenesis Bioscience. His current role is General Manager, Business Development, a role he has held since 2010; prior to that he was employed at Davis in California as Vice President, Business Development from 2005-2010.

As Group General Manager Finance, Infrastructure & Information, Mr Smith will lead the management of infrastructure and information to achieve our goals. Mr Smith began his career with professional services firm, PwC, where he became an Associate. From there, he became a Financial Consultant with McDonalds Restaurants New Zealand and went on to head up the Finance and Development portfolios for the business. He was responsible for the management of the company’s $400 million property holdings across New Zealand and had financial oversight for 166 restaurants.

Craig Jensen, General Manager Human Resources, and Dr Richard Newcomb, Chief Scientist, will remain on the Senior Management Team.

Source:  Plant and Food Research

Advertisements

Plant & Food data show the value of NZ horticulture climbs to $8.8 billion

New Zealand horticulture had another record-breaking year in 2017, when it was valued at $8.8 billion, up $100 million from 2016, and exported produce valued close to $5.12 billion, up $14 million.

According to the latest Fresh Facts, an industry annual published by Plant & Food Research, horticultural produce accounted for 10.3% of New Zealand’s merchandise export income in the year to June 2017.

The growth was driven by increases in the export values of fresh and processed fruit (excluding wine), from $2.78 billion to $2.82 billion, and fresh and processed vegetables, from $0.61 billion to 0.62 billion.

Kiwifruit continued to be the nation’s top horticultural export at $1.66 billion, accounting for 33% of the total export value. It was followed by wine at $1.54 billion, 30% of the total export value.

New Zealand horticultural produce was exported to 128 countries, with five markets—Australia, Continental Europe, the USA, Japan and China—taking up more than two-thirds of the total exports. Exports to Asia reached $1.95 billion, twice as much as any other continent/region.

“The success of New Zealand horticulture is built on its well-earned reputation of delivering high quality and premium products to the overseas markets,” says David Hughes, chief executive of Plant & Food Research.

“The horticultural industry must keep up the quality and innovate to offer new products that meet international market needs in order to secure our position.

“Adopting new technologies and best practices to minimise environmental and social impact of the production process will further strengthen our clean, green image in the global marketplace.”

Mike Chapman, Chief Executive of Horticulture New Zealand, said his organisation is confident the industry will meet the $10 billion by 2020 target “as long as we  are  committed to listening to local and overseas consumers and offering products they want and desire.”

To view the latest issue of Fresh Facts and all previous issues, visit www.FreshFacts.co.nz

Key facts 

  • Produce from the New Zealand horticultural sector exceeded $8.8 billion in the year to 30 June 2017.
  • The total value of horticultural exports was $5.12 billion in 2017, an increase of 91% ($2.7 billion) from 2007.
  • New Zealand’s biggest horticultural export was kiwifruit, worth $1.66 billion. Other key exports were wine ($1.54 billion), apples ($691 million), and avocado ($147.5 million).
  • Avocado export demonstrated significant growth from $82 million in 2016 to $147 million in 2017, likely in part to the biennial nature of avocado production. In 2015 avocado export was valued at $115 million.
  • Exports to five markets: Australia, Continental Europe, the USA, Japan and China accounted for almost $3.5 billion and 67.7% of the total exports.
  • The diversity of horticultural exports is apparent in the 22 categories exported to Asia, each between $5 million and over $1 billion, and 13 categories to Australia, each between $7 million and over $440 million (fob) value.
  • More than $200 million worth of natural honey was exported to Asia and Australia.
  • Source: Plant & Food Research 

    Maori company teams up with Crown to breed unique berries for global markets

    A joint venture company has been established to breed and develop new unique berry varieties to be marketed exclusively by a Māori-owned firm, Miro Limited Partnership (Miro).

    Government-owned Plant & Food Research and Miro signed a 50:50 joint venture agreement today at an event hosted by Ngati Haua at the iwi’s Rukumoana Marae in Morrinsville.

    The agreement provides the new company with access to Plant & Food Research berry genetics for the development of proprietary new varieties. The joint venture partners will create a breeding programme for new high-value berry varieties.

    Miro will grow, market and sell the berries in New Zealand and globally with support from BerryCo NZ Limited.

    The joint venture is a milestone in horticultural entrepreneur Steve Saunders’ vision for Miro, to create a step-change in both the New Zealand berry industry and the regional Māori economy for current and future generations.

    Miro chair Rukumoana Schaafhausen said Miro is owned by over 20 Māori trusts, iwi and entities from the top of the north to the top of the South Island, from the East Coast to Taranaki.

    “We came together because we wanted jobs for our people, higher returns on our land, and to own IP and a global business that would secure a future for our mokopuna. We’re so excited about the opportunities ahead of us and we would love for more Māori landowners to join in.

    “In simple terms, Miro is aiming to build a business every bit as successful as Zespri. It represents a high-value, market-led, vertically integrated berry export business. There’s no reason why berries can’t be the next billion dollar New Zealand horticulture industry, and we’re proud to partner with Plant & Food Research to create that future.”

    Plant & Food Research chief executive David Hughes says the joint venture is aligned with the science company’s mandate to use research innovation to add value to fruit, vegetable, crop and food products and their industries.

    “In Miro we have a partner with global ambitions matched by scale and capability in New Zealand,” said David Hughes.

    He expects the deal to open up fresh innovation challenges for the Crown research institute’s scientists and described it as a welcome addition to its diverse range of commercial activity.

    Source: Plant & Food Research.