Budding produce leaders emerge after intensive training abroad


Twenty five of Asia Pacific’s next generation of leaders in the produce sector have emerged after an intensive period of training at Auckland University for the Produce Marketing Association’s (PMA) Emerging Leaders Program (ELP).

The course teaches high level horticulture and produce professionals how to get more out of themselves and their business. Students undertook a business simulation exercise (equating to three years modelling) as well as classes ranging from leadership, market analysis, business performance metrics and industry innovation. 

Tripod Farmers’ Frankie Ruffo, a Bacchus Marsh local and producer of premium and specialty leaves, said students learned how to take their organisation to the next level.
“I was really impressed - there were so many people from across different areas of the industry, in different capacities, time zones and even languages - however it was seamless,” said Mr Ruffo.

“The group gelled instantly, the content was interesting and I’m excited about the future. I think the family business and industry in Victoria will get a lot out of this program moving forward.”

Monsanto Australia Managing Director, Daniel Kruithoff, was encouraged by the outcome and sees a bright future ahead for its participants.

“The benefits to our region are clear; with a rising middle class across Asia, there is growing demand for Victoria’s premium horticultural produce. Arming our next generation of produce industry professionals with new skills and contacts from across the region will help local businesses capitalise on their growth potential,” Mr Kruithoff said.

“With this in mind Australia can become a regional powerhouse in the fresh, premium horticultural export sector.”

PMA A-NZ CEO Michael Worthington was proud to offer the program to the region, recognising its importance in the global landscape.

“The support from Monsanto as sponsor of the ELP has been tremendous. They share similar ideals to PMA Australia-New Zealand in recognising that developing the skills of people across the whole supply chain is vital to the future success of the fresh produce industry.

“PMA A-NZ acknowledges Monsanto for taking a leadership role through their sponsorship of the ELP in in helping to develop the careers of the up-and-coming stars in the fresh produce industry.”

The ELP was brought to the region by Monsanto Australia and is a partnership between the Produce Marketing Association Australia New Zealand (PMA A-NZ), the Thunderbird School of Global Management, and the PMA Foundation for Industry Talent.

To learn more about content and method of delivery for the program visit www.pma-anz.com/