Albert Shih and Callum Grant have been welcomed by TomatoesNZ as new board members.
My wife Deborah and I own and manage Kakanui Tomatoes Ltd just outside of Oamaru.
I was born in Taiwan. I immigrated to New Zealand at the age of 10 together with my parents, Humphrey and Joy, and my sister Jasmine. The family business, Vege Growers Ltd., started in the winter of 2003. I got involved during school breaks to help out where I could, learning the operation along the way and gradually became more involved. I graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Canterbury, followed by a Master of Project Management from the University of Sydney. I lived in Sydney for 18 months, studying part time, whilst working in various IT projects that could benefit the tomato business. Then, I finally obtained a Graduate Diploma in Science majoring in computer science.
Besides the family business, I have worked in produce, brass manufacturing plant, mechanical workshops and an RFID tag recycling project for agricultural purposes.
I have joined the TomatoesNZ board to learn more about the industry and better understand the challenges that growers face; politically, economically, or otherwise. I hope to be part of the solution that will move the industry forward and benefit all tomato growers.
We’re a small grower of predominantly cocktail sized tomatoes which we market through MG’s under our label ‘Kakanui Tomatoes’. I’m also a director of the North Otago Growers Cooperative Ltd.
I have a Bachelor of Business Studies from Massey University and a Certificate in Management from Deakin University, Melbourne. Besides horticulture, I have worked in commercial property contract management, logistics (including import/ export), procurement and local government.
I have always enjoyed horticulture since growing up on an orchard in Hawkes' Bay and have followed horticulture even when I was not working in it. I had always intended to return to horticulture at some point and when this operation came up it seemed like serendipity.
The most important thing I enjoy, apart from the work itself, is working with my family and being able to take a much more active part in our two children's future, particularly as they are now in the teenage years.
My aspirations for seeking a position on the board of TomatoesNZ is to work constructively with the wider industry for successful outcomes for all tomato growers.