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Orchard Programmes Specialist in Bologna

Orchard Programmes Specialist
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Date: 28-Sep-2022
Location: Bologna, BO, IT
Company: Zespri Group Limited

About Zespri

Zespri is the world’s largest marketer of kiwifruit with over 800  people in New Zealand and throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas. 

We  help people, communities and the environment thrive through the goodness of kiwifruit. We sit at the heart of an interconnected industry working with 2,800 growers in New Zealand and 1,500 growers in Italy, France, Greece, South Korea and Japan. We supply the world’s healthiest little superfruits to people in more than 50 countries. We are fruit on a mission. 

Our values are at the heart of everything we do. We commit to guardianship; putting people, the community, and the environment first. We are results-driven, challenging ourselves to grow and deliver better value. We cultivate personal connections, listening and acting with empathy and humility – and treating each other better for it. 

We are growing quickly, driven by our success in engaging more and more consumers and by offering the world’s best kiwifruit 12 months of the year. We have bold ambitions and aim to grow sales from approximately $3 billion in 2018 to $4.5 billion by 2025. 

To achieve our goals, we’re empowering our people to achieve their goals, designing our work for wellbeing, through flexible work practices and self-leadership. 

We have bold ambitions for the future and we want all of our people to live and perform at their best.

About The Role
This position is part of the Zespri Orchard Productivity Global Extension team, whose core role 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. 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 Programmes Regional Manager and based in Bologna, this role contributes to the orchard Extension Programmes for Zespri varieties in Italy, with main focus in Northern regions (Emilia-Romagna, Veneto and Lombardia), through field days, workshops and orchard support, also including involvement in trials across Italy. In addition, with the rest of the Extension team, the Orchard Programmes Specialist is developing and coordinating communication within the country, ensuring growers receive appropriate information at appropriate timing, under appropriate format, and through right channels. Another key aspect of the role is to develop and keep strong connections with local growers and orchards technicians from our OP partners. Working in conjunction with other ZGS Europe team members and with key industry stakeholders will be critical to success of the programmes.


  • Develop and maintain excellent relationships with growers, technicians and supplier partners, as well as kiwifruit industry bodies in Italy, especially in northern Italy
  • Link with other Europe teams to exchange relevant data to support extension programmes and other programmes in place with the Italian Zespri industry
  • Provide regular information from Italy to the wider Zespri industry as requested through symposium, journal articles or the blog
  • Provide a report about activities once a month
  • Participate actively in the Global Extension activities (Yammer, Webinars, Conference, etc.)  

Trials and data analysis:

  • Contribute to setting up the trial plan for the year, considering ideas from the industry both in Italy and outside. Keep a proactive look at what is done in other countries and provide interface to allow trials to take place 
  • Manage several trials from protocol to reporting so that will either answer a question relevant for growers, serve as a demo, or offer innovative solutions. Collect and analyze data in a timely fashion. File online all protocols and reports 

Extension programmes and delivery: 

  • Contribute to the design and the delivery of annual extension programmes in Italy adapting to specific regional needs 
  • Organize and deliver field days, workshops, orchard events and support to growers and technicians across Italy especially in northern Italy in conjunction with other staff members linking with experts when appropriate 
  • Develop and manage a set of tools to transfer information and knowledge to the growers in an effective way, including information from other teams that are relevant to growers (namely smart monitoring information and market information) 
  • Support the wider team in different initiatives where extension expertise is needed, transfer relevant information when needed and collaborate through projects 

Qualifications & Experience

  • Experience in the technical/science arena preferably with graduate qualification in a science or horticultural/agricultural field
  • Good technical knowledge and skills in fruit production    
  • Written and verbal fluency in Italian and English
  • Strong analytical mindset (data analysis, reporting skills, showcasing insights from data)  
  • Good stakeholder management skills and service and collaborative mindset 
  • Strong appetite for communication and relationships with the agriculture sector 
  • Computer literacy in applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint 
  • 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 

What's In It For You

  • Competitive overall remuneration package, including a Short-Term Incentive scheme opportunity.
  • FlexWELL flexible work ethos
  • Additional paid annual leave day per year (Zespri Day).
  • Additional paid volunteer day to volunteer within your community (Volunteer Time).
  • Global Life and Permanent Disability Insurance.
  • Group Medical Insurance benefits.

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 fulfil 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.

Zespri will not be responsible for, and will not pay, any fees, commissions or other payments related to such unsolicited resumes.

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