Greg Sutherland & Naomi Mannering NZAPI

(l-r) Greg Sutherland and Naomi Mannering

New Zealand Apples and Pears (NZAPI) has announced two appointments to its Associate Director programme.

Freshmax’s Greg Sutherland andMr Apple’s Naomi Manneringwill join the programme in 2022. They will serve as associate directors on the NZAPI board.

Sutherland, who has spent 22 years in the industry, is currently the exports Asia sales managerat Freshmax.

“My favourite part of my role at Freshmax is setting up international programmes for our apples and pears that the orchard team have put 12 months of hard work and energy into, and then seeing the passion that our customers have for what we grow,” said Sutherland. “I’m looking forwardto joining the NZAPI Associate Director programme to learn more about governance and industry relations.”

Mannering, who grew up on an apple orchard, has spent most of her adult life in industry roles, first with Fern Ridge Fresh and then with Mr Apple, where she currently serves as export sales executive.

“Now more than ever we need people who have can bring an alternative perspective and who can advocate for the industry,” said Mannering. “I would like to increase my ability to think laterally to take on the challenges we face in the ever-changing environment.”

The Associate Director programme was introduced in 2019 as a way for NZAPI to grow its future governance and representation pool. The aim is to provide NZAPI’s board selection committee with a pipeline of aspiring directors, who have both the knowledge and training for what is involved in governing the peak industry body.

“The programme offers successful candidates a chance to work alongside the NZAPI board and to be mentored by directors, along with receiving the relevant New Zealand Institute of Directors’ training,” said NZAPI board chair Richard Punter.

“The apple industry has faced unprecedented challenges in the past two years and the ensuing labour shortages, and there is significant pressure on the broader New Zealand food industry to innovate to remain competitive both domestically and globally. We need trained directors from all areas of the industry’s value chain to be an effective and relevant governance board.”

The programme’s 2021 associate directors, Kurt Livingston and Catherine Wedd, have now completed their board term, with Wedd voted on to the NZAPI board at the AGM in August.