New Zealand Avocado CEO to step down after 12 years

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New Zealand Avocado CEO to step down after 12 years

Jen Scoular, CEO of New Zealand Avocado, will step down after 12 years in the role, announced Linda Flegg, Chair of NZ Avocado Growers’ Association.

Scoular, an avocado grower herself will remain in the position until mid-August, taking the opportunity to farewell some of the 1,400 avocado growers across NZ growing regions.  

She has always loved the part of her role that is out on orchards meeting growers and seeing the innovation happening.

“Jen has served us tirelessly over the past 12 years and her achievements along the way are many.  When Jen took up the role after a four-year term as a trade diplomat in Hamburg, Germany, our industry was struggling and lacked engagement, communication, and systems, which gave Jen a lot to focus on,” said Flegg.

She added that under Scoular’s leadership, the NZ avocado industry value has increased from $82 million in 2011-12 to $231 million in 2021, and the NZ market value from $19 to $62 million in 2021-22.

Additionally, the industry successfully achieved market access for avocados in both the China and India market, joined the biosecurity partnership with the government, and achieved the first horticulture primary growth partnership in 2014, which finished in December 2022.

The 10th edition of the World Avocado Congress took place this year between Apr. 2-5. Flegg said that it “was a fitting finale for Jen and with five years in the planning, against the odds of covid and border closures, it was a phenomenal success.”

The event, which featured eight keynote speakers from 5 countries, and 130 presentations from 16 countries, allowed the global sector to discuss both opportunities and challenges.

“On behalf of the Board, growers, and industry parties we thank Jen for her commitment to delivering value to growers through a very strong growth period, and growing the visibility of our sector, and of avocados, both in New Zealand and globally. She has left a legacy that will require some big shoes to fill,” concluded Flegg.

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