Zespri has announced Peter McBride will step up to replace outgoing chairman John Loughlin when he departs early next year.
McBride is currently Zespri’s deputy chairman, and has been one of the five grower-directors on Zespri’s board since 2002.
He is also currently chairman of Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH), the organisation tasked with coordinating the New Zealand kiwifruit industry’s response to the disease Psa, but will stand down from this role before becoming Zespri's chairman.
McBride said he has an enormous passion for the New Zealand kiwifruit industry, and believes Zespri is one of the world’s leading horticultural marketing companies.
“While the industry has had a very tough time from Psa – and its impacts will continue to be felt for a number of years yet – I believe we will overcome the disease,” he said. “As Zespri chairman, I will be committed to doing all I can to navigate the industry through these current tough times and returning it to its long-term growth path.
“Zespri’s challenge is to return as much money to growers’ pockets as possible, while ensuring the company retains the capability to take advantage of long-term growth opportunities as the industry overcomes Psa.”
Outgoing chairman John Loughlin said McBride’s experience in business management, kiwifruit production and as chairman of KVH make him the ideal person to take Zespri’s reins.
“I know that Peter will serve the industry well during his time as chairman,” he stated.