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KBC Orchard Technician

Date: 15-Mar-2023

Location: Aprilia, LT, IT

Company: Zespri Group Limited

About Zespri


Zespri is the world’s largest marketer of kiwifruit with over 800  people in New Zealand and throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas.

We  help people, communities and the environment thrive through the goodness of kiwifruit. We sit at the heart of an interconnected industry working with 2,800 growers in New Zealand and 1,500 growers in Italy, France, Greece, South Korea and Japan. We supply the world’s healthiest little superfruits to people in more than 50 countries. We are fruit on a mission.

Our values are at the heart of everything we do. We commit to guardianship; putting people, the community, and the environment first. We are results-driven, challenging ourselves to grow and deliver better value. We cultivate personal connections, listening and acting with empathy and humility – and treating each other better for it.

We are growing quickly, driven by our success in engaging more and more consumers and by offering the world’s best kiwifruit 12 months of the year. We have bold ambitions and aim to grow sales from approximately $3 billion in 2018 to $4.5 billion by 2025.

To achieve our goals, we’re empowering our people to achieve their goals, designing our work for wellbeing, through flexible work practices and self-leadership.

We have bold ambitions for the future and we want all of our people to live and perform at their best.


About The Role


To contribute to the effective and efficient management of the Research Orchard. This role will assist with orchard activities focusing on vine management – pruning, grafting assistance, training of young vines. Through these activities the role will support the research team to develop and deliver new kiwifruit cultivars and rootstocks to our parent company Zespri. 

The Kiwifruit Breeding Centre’s (KBC) Mission is to make a difference for consumers, growers and the global supply chain by delivering novel cultivars solutions.

This is a fix term opportunity for 5 months for seasonal support and Located in Aprilia. 


Coordinate orchard supervision/maintenance by: 

  • Maintaining high levels of orchard management to reflect current orchard and kiwifruit industry best practice by mowing, spraying, undertaking pollination, irrigation, fertilizer application, pruning, training, thinning, harvesting, undertaking propagation planting and trial establishment and evaluation.  
  • Applying and maintaining developments in orchard and kiwifruit practices and maintenance, reflecting evolving industry standards and approaches, and new physiology and other practices responding to new information available.
  • Monitoring and maintaining plant health status and undertaking all steps to have relevant protection in place to avoid loss or damage to the research projects in the field.
  • Undertaking orchard maintenance and redevelopment as required, ensuring field trials are established and completed on time, whilst also enabling deadlines to be met so the research activities can be carried out and completed at the correct time.
  • Completing and maintaining accurate records of daily/weekly activities and plant monitoring.
  • Maintaining orchard machinery and equipment for efficient and safe operation (certificates/warrants’ of fitness, servicing, etc.), making Health and Safety a priority, with all machinery being safely operated and well maintained.
  • Ensuring management are well informed on relevant issues, problems or developments.
  • Assisting with land rejuvenation and recycling of vines.
  • Assisting with and contributing to actively maintaining or improving the condition of soils of the orchard.
  • Participating in discussions and proactively suggesting ways to care for the soil fauna to ensure positive outcomes of the in ground research projects.


Coordinating partnerships and third parties by:  

  • Supervising workers at trial sites to ensure tasks are completed to required standards and on time.
  • Taking personal responsibility for keeping yourself, co-workers, and equipment free from harm and mishaps, and maintaining a safe working environment, and keeping accurate records.

Qualifications & Experience

  • Working experience in an orchard operation. Experience with kiwifruit will be a significant advantage.
  • Current full driver’s license  
  • Fluent English and Italian
  • Relevant Science degree an advantage.
  • Specialized knowledge and experience with grafting, vine management, kiwifruit nursery and budwood production, nutrition and pest & disease control would be an advantage
  • Skilled at establishment and training of young vines; Identification of quality kiwifruit material for reproduction; Pollination; Collecting data for scientific trials would be an advantage
  • Able to interact with growers on a professional level; Work independently with growers to represent KBC and Zespri at its best
  • Attention to detail and precision.
  • Ability and flexibility to work in different locations in Italy and occasionally travel out of the country
  • Ability to work flexible hours during seasonal peaks. Able to work without supervision and self-sufficient.
  • Must be physically fit and able to perform physically demanding work.
  • Must be mechanically minded and comfortable working with a wide range of field machinery-show  a comprehensive understanding of the value of regular, informed vehicle and machinery maintenance.
  • Basic computing skills – Word, Excel 



Zespri will not accept applications or contact from any temporary staffing agency, placement service or professional recruiter for this vacancy (“Agency”).


Where Zespri requires the support of an agency to fulfil a vacancy, we will proactively seek this support from our network of Agencies.  We respectfully ask that you do not contact Zespri or any of its affiliates/employees regarding vacancies, and reserve the right not to reply.


Zespri will not be responsible for, and will not pay, any fees, commissions or other payments related to such unsolicited resumes.