January provides a good time to reflect on the year that has passed, as well as look forward to the year ahead. 2017 will be a big year for KVH, as we work towards our goal of a biosecurity resilient kiwifruit industry.
KVH has this week welcomed Dr Sonia Whiteman as an Associate Board Director, replacing Lorry Leydon who sat on the Board for two years. We thank Lorry for his service and look forward to his reflections on his time with KVH in the next bulletin.
Sonia is the General Manager of Apata GROW - Apata's Orchard Management division. She has a technical background in horticulture including a Bachelor of Horticulture Science (with first class honours in plant protection) and a doctorate in plant diseases.
Sonia's career has spanned 20 years, moving from Academia into Commerce, with a focus on accessing innovative science to support the various agriculture sectors.
Biosecurity is a subject close to Sonia's heart, having been in technical roles supporting growers during two major incursions. The first was the 2006 tomato/potato psyllid incursion and the associated bacterial disease liberibacter, followed by Psa in kiwifruit in 2010. Both events emphasised to Sonia the importance of industry awareness of biosecurity threats to ensure preparedness and support early detection.
"The reality of the situation is that raising the profile of biosecurity is challenging. Growers find it difficult to turn their mind to something that isn’t happening, or hasn't happened yet, when there are so many things that need to be dealt with right now. However, a major pest incursion is, in my view, the greatest threat facing the future success of our industry, so we need to understand these threats and be ready to act decisively and effectively if or when they are realised".
Sonia is excited about the opportunity to work with the KVH Board and staff to help advance the kiwifruit industry’s state of readiness.
MPI and GIA partners hosted the Protecting to Grow New Zealand Biosecurity Forum last week, which included national and international experts speaking about the future of biosecurity in New Zealand. Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy also launched the Biosecurity 2025 Direction Statement. The second day of the forum provided opportunity for discussion and contribution through workshops focused on each of the five key strategic directions.
KVH have an exciting development opportunity for a future leader within the Kiwifruit Industry.
The KVH Board has appointed grower-elected Director, Adrian Gault as the new Chairman, and Independent Director, Graeme Marshall, as Vice Chairman.
With more than 30 years of growing and primary industry experience, Adrian has extensive and strong governance experience through his past and present roles on a number of primary industry organisations.
This includes current director on the EastPack Board, past Chairman of EastPack Entity Trust Advisory Committee, the Bay of Plenty Federated Farmers Meat and Fibre Section, Opotiki Federated Farmers and Opotiki Veterinary Services Inc.
A Gold3 kiwifruit grower based in Opotiki, Adrian was the regional representative for Kiwifruit Vine Health from its early days responding to the Psa crisis until 2012 and was an Opotiki District Councillor from 2001–2007.
Graeme Marshall has had a significant career in the freight, logistics and transport industry including 16 years at the Port of Tauranga as the Commercial Manager.
Graeme is currently a director of Port Taranaki, is the Chairman of the Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee (BMAC), is contracted to provide business development support for Northport Ltd and is on the governance board of Bay of Connections, the economic development strategy for the wider Bay of Plenty.