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Zespri chairman announces retirement

Peter McBride, who has chaired the board of Zespri since 2013, will step down as chairman of Zespri in February 2019 and will retire as a director of Zespri at the company’s next Annual Meeting in July 2019.zespri

Deputy Chairman Bruce Cameron will become chairman in February 2019. Cameron is a long-time kiwifruit grower and has been a director of Zespri since 2010. The succession provides for continued strong leadership and experience on the board.

McBride has been a director of Zespri since 2002 and has served as chairman during a period of change and expansion. This includes the industry’s return to growth following the impact of Psa. He has overseen a premium brand-led strategy and the expansion of Zespri SunGold to meet burgeoning demand in the markets. It has also been a time of progress in strengthening grower ownership and control of Zespri, achieved through industry consultation, change to the Kiwifruit Export Regulations, change to Zespri’s Constitution and a targeted share offer and buy back that was completed this month.

McBride’s tenure as chairman from 2013 has seen growth in average per hectare returns across all kiwifruit varieties of 55 percent, and growth in the share price from 50 cents in March 2013 to over $8 a share.

“Our kiwifruit industry has stepped through a number of challenges but we have demonstrated time and time again the cohesiveness of our industry and our ability to act in its common interest," said McBride. "I have been in a fortunate position to see through significant changes and as a kiwifruit grower I am looking forward to Zespri’s continued success as it transforms to serve more and more customers around the world.”

“Peter has been an outstanding chairman for Zespri and a leader in the kiwifruit industry," said Zespri Director Jonathan Mason. "Among his achievements as both chairman and director was his leadership in supporting the industry’s recovery from the serious challenge of Psa — communicating and listening to growers and developing the response. He then saw through the execution of our product and market strategy, in response to Psa, with the expansion of SunGold and strong sustainable performance for Green contributing to record returns for the industry. He leaves behind a strong legacy.”

McBride will be formally acknowledged for his outstanding contribution to Zespri and the New Zealand kiwifruit industry at the annual meeting next year.