Orchard Productivity and Extension Manager

Date: 17 Jun 2024

Location: Bologna, BO, IT Aprilia, LT, IT

Company: Zespri Group Limited

Kō wai mātou? Who are we?


Zespri is more than simply the world's single-largest marketer of kiwifruit. We like to think of ourselves as fruit on a mission and as rebels with a cause: to help people, communities and the environment around the world thrive through the goodness of kiwifruit. We are proudly the world's largest marketer of kiwifruit, selling kiwifruit in more than 50 countries. We work with around 2,800 New Zealand and 1,500 international growers and post-harvest companies to source the best-quality Zespri Kiwifruit which we supply through our distribution partners to wholesale and retail customers. We are one of New Zealand's best-known international brands, dedicated to creating sustainable long-term value for growers.

He aha te mahi? What's the role?


Zespri Global Supply (ZGS) is responsible for supplying kiwifruit to Zespri in the New Zealand off-season.  ZGS has operations in Italy, France, Greece, Japan and Korea. The supply volumes and numbers of growers is increasingly rapidly as new orchards come into production and the Zespri strategy includes increasing SunGold volumes of European origin.


Based in Bologna, and reporting to the Head of Innovation and Productivity, this role leads the Orchard Productivity and Extension team in Europe a range of locally based teams (3 direct reports and 12 persons in total) responsible for developing and delivering strategies to improve productivity and quality across Zespri commercial and pre commercial European regions.


Working in conjunction with the other ZGS Europe team members and with key industry stakeholders will be critical to the success of the programmes namely ensuring:


  • The voice of Growers are heard and empowered to lift orchard yield and quality through improved practices thus generating sustainable returns
  • Comprehensive extension, technical and research strategies are co-developed with a strong participatory approach to ensure successful orchard changes aligned to Zespri’s strategy
  • Strong cross functional teams are formed and messages are delivered in a manner that enhances grower sentiment
  • Development of strong relationships across industry facing teams
  • Identification of global orchard related risks and opportunities, and the development of appropriate response strategies
  • Team skill development in both technical education and extension related areas
  • Providing the technical response to adverse weather events

Ko wai koe? Who are you?


We are ideally looking for an energetic team leader who is a proven professional in horticultural, agricultural science, management and/or adult education/extension. You will also bring:


  • An inclusive leadership with excellent relationship skills, you act as a role model first and are a multi-faceted professional with a blend of horticultural knowledge, business management skills, and a deep understanding of environment. 
  • 5+ years of experience in team management position (of both managers and experts/technicians)
  • Project management experience
  • Adult learning and modern agriculture extension principles and techniques
  • Good technical knowledge and skills in fruit production, preferably kiwifruit production
  • Written and verbal fluency in English and Italian at a conversational, business and technical level. Ability to communicate fluently in a third European language desirable, preferably French
  • Computer literacy in applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

He aha e tika ai a Zespri? Why Zespri?


Our people are what makes our culture so irresistible and uniquely Zespri. We are a passionate and mighty team of 850+ employees in 23 different locations globally. Working at Zespri is an opportunity to join a fast-paced, culture-driven environment unlike any other. We want people who share our values of being personally connected, results-driven, and committed to guardianship. Join us in shaping our future and be part of a truly unique organisation.


  • Competitive overall remuneration package, including a Short-Term Incentive scheme opportunity
  • FlexWELL flexible work ethos; WFH & the office.
  • Additional paid annual leave day per year (Zespri Day).
  • Additional paid volunteer day to volunteer within your community (Volunteer Time).
  • Global Life and Permanent Disability Insurance.
  • Group Medical Insurance benefits.


Tono mai inaianei! Apply Now! Applications close 17 July 2024.



At Zespri, we understand the importance of diverse perspectives and experiences, and a fair hiring process is the first step to getting there. We want to attract a diverse range of people and encourage everyone from all backgrounds and walks of life to apply. Please let us know if you need any assistance or reasonable adjustments to take part in the recruitment and selection process by reaching out to our Talent Acquisition team via email at careers@zespri.com.