By the time you read this article, I will have hung up my Jenkins vest for the last time. After seven and a half years I have called time and will be taking some time out with my family for a few months before embarking on the next chapter of my journey. It is really difficult to wrap my head around the fact I have been with the business for over seven years. I guess several of those years were a complete blur, as they were for everyone!
On reflecting on my time in the industry, I am struck by the consistency. All industries undergo general cyclical boom-bust patterns and over the nearly eight years I have been watching, it would be difficult to describe any cyclical pattern in horticulture on a broad scale. The industry as a whole has remained solid, committed, ready to invest, focused on the future and constantly growing. Naturally, at a crop level there have been challenges, but overall the horticulture sector is an industry that is upbeat and going places. New Zealand produce seems to have found a sweet spot for its value proposition that means it is durable through varying economic cycles globally.
What I have been particularly struck by is the incredible tenacity shown in the face of adversity. The global pandemic, a doozey of a frost in the Bay of Plenty, a cyclone to name a few of the larger hurdles, and while there was the odd stumble, no one really tripped. Everyone dusted themselves off, saw these isolated events for what they were, and charged on. Where Jenkins sits in the service and supply side of the industry, I was always waiting for the wallets to slam shut, people to throw in the towel or rock in the corner until the clouds parted. But this didn’t happen. Far from it in fact. I am fighting to avoid the overused word ‘resilience’ but the reality is that there is no better word for it. It has been truly remarkable to observe.
Writing this short piece is literally one of the last tasks on my list before walking out the door and I am sitting here smiling. I am smiling about an awesome industry that is going places, I am smiling about the amazing net promoter score Jenkins just achieved, I am smiling about how bright the future is for the incredible team at Jenkins, and the pride they have in being a significant part of putting produce from Aotearoa on shelves all around the world.
Thank you everyone for the laughs, smiles and memories. Your industry is in great shape and I am extremely pleased to be leaving the Jenkins team in a strong position and with solid and fresh leadership at the helm.
Ka kite anō,
Formerly Jenkins Freshpac General Manager
Currently hiker, fisherman, camper, budding mountain biker and dad