Quality Lead

Date: 31 May 2023

Location: Zeebrugge, West Flanders, BE

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

The Quality Lead provides leadership and management of the day-to-day quality operations across Zespri’s European 3PL (Third party logistics) hubs and customer supply chains. The role reports into the Operations & Logistics Manager and leads a team of quality experts who ensure compliance with the Zespri Quality System including products, facilities, cool storage, technical processes and mandatory and voluntary standards.
The Quality Lead role is based in Zeebrugge, Belgium and physical implementation in the hubs is handled through the local teams and the Operations & Logistics Manager. Ultimately the Quality lead strives to ensure Zespri delivers it’s quality promise to it’s European customers  and consumers while optimising returns to Growers.



Lead the European Quality team within Supply Chain Operations


  • Provide leadership, mentorship and influence to the Quality team based in Zeebrugge, Belgium, including three direct reports (Port & Quality Controller, Quality Support Officer, Quality Auditor)
  • Ensure the European Supply Chain is compliant with the Zespri Quality System including products, facilities, cool stores, technical processes and mandatory and voluntary standards.  Being aware that the European Supply Chain is a diverse mixture of ports, 3PL hubs, external packers and customer supply chains. 
  • Work collaboratively with the Operations & Logistics Manager, Head of Supply Chain Europe, Market Managers and Customers & Consumers to provide proactive communication on season quality and to resolve product quality issues as they arise. 
  • Act with a strong focus on Continuous Improvement and customer-centric engagement and problem solving.
  • Ensure reliable and timely quality reporting is available that leads to timely decisions and actions.
  • Ensure systems and processes support delivering optimal quality fruit to customers.
  • Owner of Supplier Accountability in the European Supply Chain.
  • Work collaboratively with the Quality Internal Audit team and External auditors to ensure Quality Assessors are proficient and opportunities for improvement in the Audit Programme  are identified and enacted.
  • Act as a contact point for European Quality and communicate issues effectively to Zespri Global Quality and Technical and other Supply Chain Teams.
  • Support the Fruit Optimization team with accurate and timely information to ensure the right fruit is prioritized in the market.
  • Build strong working relationships with 3PL partners and their staff.
  • Input quality data and information into the Financial Forecast process and contribute to discussions on quality implications related to the forecast.
  • Ensure adequate quality related training is undertaken.
  • Ensure relevant local Quality manuals are maintained and up to date and aligned with Zespri Global requirements.


Contribute positively as the leader of Quality within the European Supply Chain team


  • Provide leadership and positively influence, including making decisions, relating to the operational, strategic and people aspects of the European Quality Team.
  • Contribute openly as a member of the European Supply Chain team, and provide support at a Senior Level to the Operations & Logistics Manager for operational, strategic, people and Industry related matters through engagement, decision making, and communication. 
  • Be an advocate for Continuous Improvement and work with colleagues to drive efficiency and optimise the processes within Quality Operations.
  • Grow, develop, and empower the European Quality Team, ensuring that foundational Industry knowledge is transferred between team members while also providing a culture of challenging the norm and seeking new and better ways of working.
  • Responsible for people management aspects including performance management/reviews, coaching, development, fair allocation of work, leave management, delegation, establishing team communication process, recruitment etc.
  • Lead by example and create a sense of team/develop a team culture that is aligned with the “way we work behaviours” and will contribute positively to the wider Quality Team

Qualifications & Experience


  • Agricultural or scientific background.
  • Professional experience in Quality Management Systems.
  • Knowledge of audit and compliance programs.
  • Minimum of 3 years on a Leadership/supervisor position
  • Knowledge of English language, Dutch is a plus.
  • Available to travel nationally and within Europe.
  • Line or Team Management experience is a must.
  • Sound understanding of product (preferably fruit/fresh produce/FMCG) handling and storage practices.
  • Good knowledge of Microsoft suite – Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Able to develop and maintain good working relationships.
  • Sound and consistent decision-making.
  • Able to understand information and data and use this to make decisions.
  • High standard of personal integrity.

What's In It For You

  • Competitive overall remuneration package, including a Short-Term Incentive scheme opportunity.
  • FlexWELL flexible work ethos
  • 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.



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.