New chairman for avocados
Avocado grower and Avocado Growers Association representative Tony Ponder has been elected as the New Zealand Avocado Growers Association and Avocado Industry Council Chair.
NZAGA Grower Representative Linda Flegg has been elected as the vice-chair of the NZAGA.
Tony has replaced Ashby Whitehead who stepped down as chair at the annual meeting in August. Ashby served as chair since 2013 and as a representative on the NZAGA executive and AIC Ltd board since 2006.
Tony has been one of the eight grower-elected directors on the NZAGA & AIC Board since 2005. Tony and his wife Nicky have an 11 hectare avocado orchard investment in the Coromandel district, and more recently have purchased a 26-hectare property in Tauranga with existing avocado, berryfruit and kiwifruit. Tony also has commercial kiwifruit interests acting as an independent director for a large family based avocado and kiwifruit orchard and packing company in the Bay of Plenty.
Tony’s day-to-day responsibilities include director and chief executive officer of avocado, berry and kiwifruit exporter Southern Produce Limited. In this role, Tony is involved in the strategic oversight of the group’s export and domestic business including the Avoco/Avanza joint venture with Primor Produce and Team Avocado. Tony is a director of several related collaborations and joint venture entities associated with avocado trading and investment.