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Orchard Programmes Specialist (Mat. Leave) in Aprilia

Orchard Programmes Specialist (Mat. Leave)
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Date: 28-Sep-2022
Location: Aprilia, LT, 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 sits within the Zespri 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 for 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 Latina province, this role contributes to the orchard extension programmes for Zespri varieties (mainly Gold3) in Italy, with field days, workshops, webinars and orchard support, also including involvement in trials across Italy. In addition,with the rest of 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 the other ZGS Europe team members and with key industry stakeholders will be critical to success of the programmes.

This role is a maternity leave coverage starting at the end of November 2022.



  • Develop and maintain excellent relationships with growers, technicians, and supplier partners for Gold3, as well as kiwifruit industry bodies in Italy
  • Link with other Europe to exchange relevant data to support extension programmes and other project in place with the Italian Zespri industry
  • Participate actively in the Global Extension activities (Yammer, Webinars, Conference, etc)
  • 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

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, o offer innovative solutions.
  • Collect and analyse data in a timely fashion. File online all protocols and reports and uploading in specific platform (ie. Global extension hub)

Extension Programmes

  • Contribute to the design and delivery of annual extension programmes in Italy adapting to specific regional needs, notably center and southern regions of Italy.
  • Organize and deliver field days, workshops, webinar, orchard events, and support to growers and technicians across Italy in conjunction with other staff members and linking with experts when appropriate.
  • Support the wider team in different initiatives where extension expertise is needed


  • Review, develop and translate a set of documents to transfer information to the growers in an effective way, including information from other teams that are relevant to growers (namely technical knowledge, article of KJ, reports of innovation and grower experiences from the other countries)
  • 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.
  • Support the wider team in different initiatives where extension expertise is needed, transfer relevant information when required and collaborate through project.

    Qualifications & Experience
  • Graduate qualification in a science or horticultural/agricultural field
  • Experience in the technical/science arena
  • Written and verbal fluency in Italian and English.
  • Good technical knowledge and skills in fruit production.
  • Collaborative mindset and tendency to establish relationships with people and communication skills
  • Ability to manage and manipulate data.
  • Computer literacy in applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Flexibility on work hours, particularly through the main season March – June and Sept-Oct
  • Ability to travel nationally and internationally as required for training, extension, or other purposes


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.

Apply now: click here


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