Meet the team
Birchwood Grower Nominees
Birchwood Grower Nominees (BGN) Commmittee, are a Limited Liability Company that growers contract with to supply their fruit to Zespri. BGN then negotiates with Birchwood Packhouse for the provision of packing, cooling, inventory management, financial management and other services. The main role of BGN is to ensure the fair distribution of pool funds to growers in a transparent manner.
BGN Committee: Grant Luscombe – Chairman, Graeme Blackstock, Mary Coles, Jim Cooper, Rex Downs, Robert McLeod, Hugh Morison, Judy Rapson, Hugh Topp, Bruce Warden & Robert Knyvett
Board of Directors
Birchwood has a board of 6 directors who provide an impressive combined knowledge of the kiwifruit industry. The board is required to be made up of one independent director, two directors from our investor shareholder DMS and three directors elected from grower shareholders. Murray Goodhue is the independent Chairman. Working alongside him are growers, Robert Knyvett, Peter Johnson and Ian West, and from DMS Quintan Moore and Derek Masters
Below are the members that make up our wonderful team
Karen has an amazing eye for detail, and she needs it to deal with the work load that passes across her desk. She has a huge amount of industry knowledge and is super organized. Her greatest loves are her, and husband Andy’s grandchildren and a good round of golf.
Gavin is our main man and ensures everything runs smoothly and everyone understands what they are supposed to be doing. Don’t let the pink Hi Vis fool you he’s very good at making decisions and always has the knowledge and facts to back it up. He is always brimming with good kiwi ingenuity.
Grower Services Rep
Katrina is a self- confessed kiwifruit nerd. She is very passionate about her job and has a wealth of knowledge that she is always willing to pass on. Katrina is often seen scurrying out the door, trading high heels for gumboots on her way to help a grower that needs some expert advice.
Orchard Techincal Advisor
Phill is meticulous in all things. His knowledge of kiwifruit orcharding is enormous and he doesn’t stop until things are just right. Phill has an insatiable appetite for knowledge and is always learning, he is very quick witted and has a mischievous side.
We love Natalie because she is always so happy. She is super organised and keeps us on track with all our food safety compliances and red tape. Nat always has a very practical way of looking at any problem and floats calmly through her day at work.
Linda is the glue that keeps the Packhouse together, without her things would not run as smooth as they do. She is our go to person when we need to “down load”, our helpdesk for all things health and safety along with anything else we can think of. She loves truck racing, has cats but is an undercover dog lover. We’re all nice to Linda – she pays the wages.
Carmel makes one of the most difficult jobs in the packhouse look easy. She’s our data queen and is a spreadsheet wizz. She is often called upon to fix those tricky formulas’ that don’t want to work. Carmels beautiful girls and hubby are her world, and they all actively support their iwi.
Clayton is ex-Navy, so the packhouse is always in ship shape and run like clockwork. He’s cool and calm under pressure and always has a ready smile. One of his hobbies is beekeeping, which could account for his sweet tooth.
Sebastian is a real gentleman; he is super polite and conscientious. He works away on our orchards with our contractors to make sure that the job is done right. Sebastian has a great sense of humour and is always quick with a joke.
Michael rules the coolstore and takes care of our inventory. He has dedicated a great chunk of his life to Birchwood and is our longest serving staff member. He knows every nook and cranny, and is always there when anyone needs a helping hand. Just listen for the beep of his forklift and you’ll find him.
Kirsty is the happy face you see when you come to sign in at the office. She is our resident thespian. When Kirsty is not learning lines or dressing up for her next part with the local theatrical club she is busy processing the bills and writing letters. Even though she’s busy she always has time to whip up a great batch of scones.
Ana is our own Aretha Franklin. When she’s not busting out the gospel songs she's in our EDI office working alongside Carmel. She is always eager to learn and happy to take on a challange, whether it is at work or helping her community.
Dolores keeps the lab running, not in a mad scientist way but in an orderly and efficient manner. She’s experienced with all the lab processes and is always smiling. Dolores manages to do it all while caring for her baby daughter.