Jen Scoular to step aside after more than a decade in the role

Linda Flegg, chair of NZ Avocado Growers’ Association has announced the resignation of New Zealand Avocado chief executive Jen Scoular after 12 years in the role.

Jen Scoular

Jen Scoular

“Jen has served us tirelessly over the past 12 years and her achievements along the way are many. When Jen took up the role after a four-year term as a trade diplomat in Hamburg, Germany, our industry was struggling and lacked engagement, communication and systems, which gave Jen a lot to focus on,” said Flegg.

“Under her leadership industry value has increased from $82m in 2011-12 to $231m in 2021, and the New Zealand market value from $19m to $62m in 2021-22. During her tenure the industry successfully achieved market access for avocados into both the China and India market, joined the biosecurity partnership with the government and achieved the first horticulture primary growth partnership in 2014, which finished in December 2022.”

Flegg said the successful primary growth partnership, with Crown investment, allowed real change in how the industry operated, with strong external investment across a number of areas, where investment from grower levies alone was not enough to make the required change.

“The tenth World Avocado Congress here in New Zealand (2-5 April 2023) was a fitting finale for Jen and with five years in the planning, against the odds of covid and border closures, it was a phenomenal success,” said Flegg. 

“Jen developed and led an amazing team who work strongly together to support growers, packers and marketers grow value of the NZ avocado sector. That team was instrumental in the success of the World Avocado Congress and the value created for the avocado sector from the visibility achieved.”

Scoular will remain in the role until mid-August 2023 and will take the opportunity to farewell some of the 1,400 avocados growers across the growing regions. She remains an avocado grower and member of the organisation.

“On behalf of the Board, growers and industry parties we thank Jen for her commitment to delivering value to growers through a very strong growth period, and growing the visibility of our sector, and of avocados, both in New Zealand and globally. She has left a legacy that will require some big shoes to fill,” said Flegg.