Summerfruit NZ team update

Summerfruit NZ chief executive, Kate Hellstrom, has resigned and will leave the organisation on 27 September 2024. 

Over the past three years, Kate has worked with the Board to help transform Summerfruit NZ and to collaborate with other like-minded industry groups.  During Covid and in the aftermath to Cyclone Gabrielle, Kate worked closely with fellow horticulture industry chief executives to ensure growers had access to support and knew what support was available.

“It has been a privilege to work with the team, growers and the Board during such a challenging three years for the industry, and to represent the views of summerfruit growers,” says Kate.

“With the commodity levy referendum coming up next year, it is the right time for someone with fresh energy to take Summerfruit NZ forward.”

The Board has started the recruitment process for a new chief executive.

Welcoming Edwin into the team

Summerfruit NZ is pleased to welcome a new staff member, Edwin Spencer, who starts with the team as Senior Advisor on 27 May. 


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 Edwin, who is based in Wellington, grew up on a farm in the Central Rangitīkei, near Hunterville.  He has worked in the Pukekohe vegetable industry and at the Ministry of Primary Industries (Biosecurity).  He has a MSc in Plant Protection from Lincoln University, looking at biological and chemical seed treatments in commercial carrot production. 

 Edwin is looking forward to meeting many of you as he gets out and about on visits to our growing regions.