Orchard Programmes Regional Manager

Zespri is more than simply the world's single-largest marketer of kiwifruit. We like to think of ourselves as fruit on a mission and as rebels with a cause: to help people, communities, and the environment around the world to thrive through the goodness of kiwifruit.

We supply one of the world's healthiest little superfruits to millions of people around the world in more than 50 markets. We are one of New Zealand's best-known international brands, dedicated to creating sustainable long-term value for growers.

We believe in guardianship which, for us, means going the extra mile to look after our people, the community, and the land. We are results-driven, challenging ourselves to think big and deliver better. We cultivate personal connections, which means listening and acting with empathy and humility – and treating each other better for it.

Orchard Programmes Regional Manager

As part of the Zespri Orchard Productivity Global Extension team, the Orchard Programmes Regional Manager's mission is to work with growers and technicians to lead orchard productivity and fruit quality improvements. The team has a responsibility in ensuring that our business meets its objectives of improving grower profitability whilst allowing Zespri to keep its premium position on markets. The key to lifting growers' results is understanding the technical, regulatory, and financial context of their production region, and integrating this into the design of extension programmes.

Reporting to the Orchard Productivity and Grower Services Manager Europe, and based in Bologna, this role leads and develops the Orchard Productivity Center team in Bologna. It designs and implements pluriannual extension programmes including trials in northern Italy and ensures accuracy of orchard and growers-related databases. Also responsible for development and strengthening of relationships, and networking with the growers, technicians, and industry bodies. Working in conjunction with other European team members and with key industry stakeholders will be critical to the success of the wider Orchard Productivity programmes.

Main accountabilities of the role include

  • Lead and develop the Bologna Orchard Productivity Team
  • Work closely with other team members to deliver the team objectives and projects throughout the season.
  • Develop and maintain excellent relationships with growers, technicians, and supplier partners, as well as kiwifruit industry bodies in Italy
  • Design extension programs (events, trials, coms) in northern Italy to support regional specific needs and reach the company objectives for productivity and quality
  • Organize and deliver field days and workshops in northern Italy in conjunction with other staff members and join field days in other regions as appropriate to support.
  • Manage trial program in northern Italy so that outcomes will be relevant for growers and data is collected, analyzed, and used in a timely fashion.
  • Be an interface for growers and technicians with other ZGS members
  • Manage the auditing activities for new growers and new sites in northern Italy regions
  • Ensure accuracy of grower and orchard related details in the Zespri systems
  • Keep abreast of global OPC challenges and provide regular information from Italy to the wider Zespri industry as requested through symposium, internal and external articles
  • Support and assist other European teams when extension expertise is required
  • To be successful in bringing this role to life, you will ideally bring the following experiences with you:
  • 3-5 years of similar or related experience in fresh produce or horticultural field
  • Written and verbal fluency in Italian and English at a conversational, business, and technical level.
  • Strong technical knowledge and skills in fruit production.
  • Computer literacy in applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint, CRM
  • Strong analytical mindset (data analysis, reporting skills, showcasing insights from data)
  • Strong communication skills
  • Strong stakeholder management skills, collaboration, and service mindset.
  • Flexibility on work hours, particularly through the main season March – June, and September-October.
  • Ability to travel nationally and internationally as required for training, extension, or other purposes.

Qualifications:

Experience in the technical/science arena preferably with a graduate qualification in a science or horticultural field.

In return, Zespri offers competitive remuneration, a great working environment, opportunities to develop and grow, and flexibility. If you would like to be a part of our growing team, and to find out more, hit apply!

Zespri will not accept applications or contact from any temporary staffing agency, placement service, or professional recruiter for this vacancy ("Agency").

Where Zespri requires the support of an agency to fulfill a vacancy, we will proactively seek this support from our network of Agencies. We respectfully ask that you do not contact Zespri or any of its affiliates/employees regarding vacancies and reserve the right not to reply.

For your application, please send a copy of your resume to zespri.jobs@zespri.com

*Note: position would be based in Bologna, Italy


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