New Zealand Apples and Pears (NZAPI) has appointed John Allen as a board director.
Allen replaces Karen Morrish, who resigned from the peak industry body’s board in August.
He will serve as a director for the remaining term of Morrish’s tenure, which ends in August 2022. Allen will be eligible for re-election to the board at that time.
Allen has spent the past five years working in brand development and export sales at Mr Apple.
Prior to joining Mr Apple, Allen spent 15 years in corporate and agribusiness banking and governance roles in New Zealand and Australia.
He said it has been exciting to watch New Zealand’s apple and pear industry move away from a commodity-led sales approach to a focus on showing customers the importance of quality and the story behind the product.
“My key focus has been obtaining an in-depth understanding of specific markets, including consumer behaviour, and how global events impact the demand and value of New Zealand apples in each market,” Allen said.
“With an increasing cost structure across the industry, our ability to differentiate ourselves from our competitors has never been more important. That said, market access remains key as ultimately this will open the door of opportunity.”
Allen joins NZAPI directors Peter Landon-Lane, Cameron Taylor, Jackie van der Voort, Lesley Wilson, Catherine Wedd and Evan Heywood on the board, along with independent director and board chairman, Richard Punter.
Punter said Allen would bring valuable commercial experience to the organisation.
“His understanding of our industry’s global market will strengthen the New Zealand apple and pear industry’s connection with all stakeholders,” Punter said. “Additionally, his governance experience will help industry partners work together and help maintain NZAPI’s accountability to our members from a commercial perspective.”