Summerfruit chairman to stand down in June

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Tim Jones is to leave his position as Summerfruit NZ chairman.

The Cromwell man announced last week he would stand down at the organisation’s annual general meeting in June to focus on his own business as chief executive of 45 South, and his family.

Mr Jones has served on the Summerfruit NZ board since 2009 and took on the chairman’s role in 2016 but said he believed it was time for a change for the organisation’s future.

‘‘My involvement with Summerfruit NZ spans nearly 13 years and I sincerely believe that it’s time for new ideas and fresh thinking.’’

He encouraged Summerfruit NZ to think about board tenure and succession, and take the opportunity to get younger people involved.

‘‘My focus will be on my own business, which is vital in these times and, of course, to spend more time with my family.’’

Highlights of his involvement with the organisation included the ‘‘passionate people’’ working for a better future for growers, the successful renewal of the commodity levy during challenging times for the industry, and seeing Apricot Co finally reach launching stage.

In terms of the future, he hoped the current collaboration among growers and sectors continued, Mr Jones said.

‘‘Data, data, data — the willingness of growers to share data, so that Summerfruit NZ can continue to advocate on their behalf has been vital this season.

‘‘In addition, I’m hoping for a frost-free spring, rain-free cherry season, plentiful seasonal workers and a strong market.’’

He thanked Summerfruit NZ staff, directors, and the industry as a whole for their support and singled out his family and the people at 45 South for ‘‘allowing me to spend so much time away from home, knowing the work on the orchard will still get completed’’.