Supply Chain Operations Manager, Japan

Date: 29 Nov 2023

Location: Tokyo, Tokyo, JP

Company: Zespri Group Limited

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.  

What's the role?


The Supply Chain Manager will be working closely with the key stakeholders in optimizing and continuously improving the inventory management, route to market requirements and capability. You will also be leading a team to oversee the end to end supply chain process, which includes supply chain planning and managing distributors. The role will be based in Tokyo, Japan. 

Accountabilities include: 


  • Optimization of fruit quality - ensuring that the Zespri brand proposition of premium taste, firmness and appearance is maintained and enhanced as well as supporting and resourcing for trials/commercialization of any new varieties. 
  • Delivery Performance - implementing optimal routes to market within the defined strategy, implement and track industry-standard metrics on delivery performance to customers in addition to recommending appropriate targets and driving improvement plans where performance gaps exist. 
  • Inventory management and minimization of waste - developing and executing appropriate inventory policies that optimize the trade-off between service level / supply reliability, inventory holding cost, peak festival activities, fruit quality impacts and order replenishment cycles. 
  • Procurement and Supplier Management - executing strategic and tactical supplier management plans (specifically with 3PLs) for all key suppliers in the Japan Territory and ensuring effective functioning processes to avoid costly delays and lost opportunities.
  • Budget & Risk Management - managing budgeting and forecasting of all Supply Chain and Operations related activities while also improving product traceability, product recall processes and inventory visibility to ensure best-in-class response to food safety issues. 
  • Stakeholder Management and Relations - maintaining relationships within Zespri and external industry contacts to ensure that broad global and Japan supply chain trends are well understood and interpreted in a Zespri context.
  • Strategic Projects and Reporting - partnering with the Global Supply Chain team and taking a proactive approach to driving continuous improvement of Supply Chain design and strategy with initiatives encompassing both processes and resourcing.
  • Performance Management - contributing to the performance management metrics/scorecard, driving root cause analysis, continuous improvement and corrective action plans for the designated area of work. 
  • Effective team leadership - leading, empowering and motivating team members with a strong emphasis on performance to ensure a collaborative team environment.


Who are you?



We are looking for an individual who posses great leadership qualities, good communicator that has proven experience within Supply Chain function. The ability to thrive in a dynamic, changeable environment while ensuring the delivery of high-quality product. The successful candidate will have: 



  • 15+ combined years of experience in Supply Chain Operations experience of Japanese market
  • Distribution management experience and a solid understanding in 3PL
  • Exposure to SAP (preferred) 
  • An excellent understanding in Supply Chain Planning 
  • Proven leadership and change management skills to build a high performing team in an evolving business
  • A good understanding of FMCG industry, fresh produce industry preferred 
  • Undergraduate or master’s degree; concentration in business/supply chain/logistics preferred

Why Zespri?


Our people are what makes our culture so irresistible and uniquely Zespri. We are a passionate and mighty team of 900+ 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).
  • Global Life and Permanent Disability Insurance.
  • Group Medical Insurance benefits.


Apply today! Applications close 15 December 2023.


We are excited to receive applications for this position! Our talent acquisition team will carefully review all applications and reach out to qualified candidates to schedule an interview. 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. You can reach out to our Talent Acquisition team via email at to have a chat to someone directly.




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.