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Potatoes New Zealand appoints new interim board

Media release
Potatoes New Zealand

24 January 2012
Potatoes New Zealand appoints new interim board

Potatoes New Zealand has appointed a new interim board ahead of changes to the organisation’s structure to help the industry achieve its goal of tripling the value of the potato supply chain by 2020.

Potatoes New Zealand’s structure is changing to reflect its new role representing not just growers, but the whole potato supply chain – from grower to seller – who all face the same industry challenges such as psyllid, tightening margins and maintaining consumer demand. Previously, Potatoes New Zealand was a grower-only organisation.

Ron Gall, Potatoes New Zealand Business Manager, believes the new Potatoes New Zealand structure will present greater opportunities for growth and collaboration among its expanded membership base.

“2012 opens a new chapter for the potato industry. All our members will be able to strengthen industry relationships, sharing valuable knowledge so the New Zealand potato industry can exploit new markets, increase consumption and ultimately improve its leadership.

“The aim is to grow the New Zealand potato industry to $1billion by 2020 and therefore make a significant contribution to the horticulture industry strategy target of a $10 billion industry by 2020,” says Mr Gall.

At present the potato industry is worth in excess of $500 million to the New Zealand economy.

The interim eight-member board will oversee the formation of Potatoes New Zealand Inc as a whole-of-industry organisation before an elected Board is established. This has to occur “as soon as practical” and Mr Gall expects that to be in mid 2013.

The interim board comprises:

• Terry Olsen - Potato Grower, Manawatu
• Kevin Balle - Potato Grower, General Manager of Balle Bros Group, Pukekohe
• Nick Tayler - Potato Grower, Temuka
• Todd Hughes - Manager, Turners & Growers, Pukekohe
• Stuart Wright - Potato Grower, Chairman of the Foundation for Arable Research and board member for the Ravensdown Fertiliser Co-Operative, Central Canterbury
• Dean Pye - Potato Grower and Processor, Ashburton, Canterbury
• John Jackson - Agricultural Manager, McCain Foods (NZ) Ltd, Timaru
• Jon Davison - Chief Executive Officer of Mr Chips Ltd, Auckland
Plant & Food Research, the primary research provider for the potato industry welcomes the move by Potatoes New Zealand to build relationships and collaboration across the supply chain, creating more opportunities for innovation and advancing profitability.

Bruce Campbell, Chief Operating Officer at Plant & Food Research says: “Potatoes have strong potential in the New Zealand horticultural industry, and we look forward to working with the new Board in building a highly successful future for the sector.”

About Potatoes New Zealand

Potatoes New Zealand is an affiliated Product Group of Horticulture New Zealand and its new structure now enables it to represent the entire New Zealand potato industry.

The potato industry was responsible for exports with a value of more than $100 million last year.

For more information about the board and Potatoes New Zealand please visit


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