Jen Scoular has resigned as chief executive of the New Zealand Avocado Growers’ Association after 12 years in the role.
Chair Linda Flegg said Scoular had served the association 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.
“Under her leadership industry value has increased from $82 million in 2011-12 to $231m in 2021 and the New Zealand market value from $19m to $62m in 2021-22.
“During her tenure the industry successfully achieved market access for avocados into both the China and India markets, joined the biosecurity partnership with the government and achieved the first horticulture primary growth partnership in 2014, which finished in December 2022.”
Flegg also highlighted the successful primary growth partnership that, with Crown investment, “allowed real change in how the industry operated, with strong external investment across a number of areas, where investment from grower levies alone was not enough to make the required change”.
“The 10th World Avocado Congress here in New Zealand 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.”
Scoular will remain in the role until mid-August and will take the opportunity to bid farewell to some of the 1400 avocados growers across the growing regions.
She remains an avocado grower and member of the organisation.
“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 … some big shoes to fill,” Flegg said.