30 May 2024

Zespri appoints new boss

11:17 am on 30 May 2024
Jason Te Brake chief executive of Zespri.

Jason Te Brake. Photo: Supplied / Dscribe Media

Zespri, the world's largest marketer of kiwifruit, has appointed a new boss to take over the helm.

Its current chief operating officer Jason Te Brake will succeed current chief executive Daniel Mathieson on 1 July.

Mathieson announced his resignation in January after 7 years in the role and 21 years at Zespri, for a role as president of the Americas for global berry company Driscolls.

Te Brake worked at consultancy firm KPMG, meat processors AFFCO and ANZCO and milk processor Miraka - before joining Zespri in 2020, covering areas like global supply chain and commercial.

He was appointed as chief operating officer in April 2023 to manage the end-to-end supply chain from growers to markets globally.

Te Brake said the opportunity to lead Zespri was an honour.

"I am hugely passionate and energised about the opportunities for the industry," he said.

"The kiwifruit industry has an outstanding track record of success, off the back of quality people, a world-class product and strategy and a commitment to innovating and tackling challenges together.

"It is one of New Zealand's great success stories and I am incredibly fortunate to be following in the footsteps of, and working alongside, some of the industry's outstanding leaders."

Te Brake said Mathieson was an outstanding leader - and also his mentor - and bringing value back to its growers was a strong focus.

"My focus will be on leading the Zespri team to capture the significant demand opportunities in market, on strengthening our supply chain and operational performance to maximise value in market and on ensuring we return as much of that value back to growers as possible."

Zespri chair Nathan Flowerday said Te Brake had done an "outstanding job" leading the global supply chain as chief operating officer with exceptional results.

"He has a clear strategic vision to help Zespri and the industry achieve its immense potential and the operational expertise to ensure we do so," Flowerday said.

"Zespri has a strong strategy in place as we pursue that, with Jason able to provide the vision and continuity as well as the knowledge of our industry to deliver on that."

In the 2023/2024 season, Zespri supplied 164.2 million trays of kiwifruit to consumers in more than 50 markets, recording global operating revenue of $4.21 billion.

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