Pre and Post Harvest Operations Manager - based in Bologna, Italy
Our client, an internationally respected grower-owned and established organisation, continually focuses on providing premium quality and value, to their brand of kiwifruit and are known for being the 'best in the world’. Innovation, a world-class breeding programme dedicated to the development of new varieties concomitant with optimisation of orchard productivity, supply chain optimisation are their key strategies to ensure their leading global reputation.
The five year perspective of Zespri Global Supply business is one of significant growth and value generation for the benefit of stakeholders. A key part of their strategy is to serve the customers with the best kiwifruit throughout the year and accordingly they have established orchard operations internationally. Non-New Zealand fruit supply is poised for strong growth with 4700 hectares planned by 2021, driven predominantly by Gold3 projects in Italy, France, Japan and Korea with procurement of Green fruit variety from Italy, France and Greece.
Based in Bologna, Italy, the Pre and Post-Harvest Operations Manager is a senior leadership position, leading the OPC and Technical teams to implement and achieve the required ZGS Europe orchard to market excellence targets. Managing a team of twelve, you will strive to achieve the organisation’s growth strategy of planting an incremental 1800 hectares in Europe by spring 2019 for a total of 2950 hectares.
Key responsibilities of this role will include;
- Lead European production and packaging programmes from orchard selection and planting to pre-cooling and packing to ensure the organisation’s production and quality targets are met throughout the supply chain.
- Build European kiwifruit industry technical capability through development and execution of an effective extension program.
- Build well-coordinated teams with optimum information flow throughout the orchard operations well integrated within the international business.
- Evaluate and manage the work program managed by the Orchard Productivity and Grower Services Manager and team with technical transfer via field days, field trials, supplier tech meetings and grower visits.
- Manage Technical team as they perform key functions pertaining to smart monitoring of orchards, residue testing, harvest clearances, coolstore protocol management and conditioning programs with a view to deliver a product high in quality as well as quantity.
- Manage selection, negotiation and contracting of independent lab testing services in Europe in conjunction with NZ based technical team.
- Developing and managing relationships with key stakeholders including growers, suppliers, consultants, industry groups, and research providers to ensure highest level of commercial, political and scientific support for organisation’s research portfolio.
To be considered for this role, you will ideally have the following skills and attributes;
- Relevant tertiary qualification in Horticulture/Agriculture or a similar field with a minimum 5 years’ senior management experience. Research experience in fruit production is highly desirable.
- Experience in commercial fruit production, harvest management, packing processes and cool storage management essential.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills at all levels of the business whilst consistently upholding the organisation’s values and ethics.
- Sound management experience with the ability to plan projects well in advance, taking into account resources, deviations, deadlines and performance monitoring against milestones.
- Exceptional leadership skills where you will lead a disparate and culturally diverse team across multiple functions, motivating and empowering individuals and teams through delegation, continuous development and coaching.
- Strategic ability to identify issues and opportunities and develop communications solutions that deliver on business goals and values.
- Intuitive and logical problem solving skills where you are able to make informed decisions.
- Self-motivated, resilient with a 'can do’ attitude and a high level of flexibility to adapt to change in circumstances.
- Intermediate computer skills (Word, Excel), working knowledge in SAP is highly desirable.
- Fluent in English and Italian (written and spoken), French/Spanish an advantage.
- Flexibility to work in locations in Italy and Europe, and internationally as required.
- Flexibility on work hours particularly during the main season (September to March).
The key to your success will be your ability to utilise your impressive strategic, project management, communication and leadership skills and build strong networks/relationships with the key stakeholders to achieve successful outcomes.
Reporting to Regional Manager, Europe, this pivotal role within the organisation’s Global Expansion Strategy will be awarded by an excellent remuneration package including a vehicle, an attractive incentive structure and assistance with relocation. To learn more about this outstanding opportunity apply today with a CV and Cover letter in WORD format only, quoting job number 07/1804/PB
- Operations Management