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Horticultural Operations

Aongatete Coolstores are proud to offer a comprehensive horticultural operations service where nearly all of the work is either undertaken or overseen by our own people.

Derek Edwards manages the overall department which includes Field Operations, Spraying, Inventory Management, Orchard Maintenance, Field Auditors and the Mechanical Division.

While new to the post-harvest sector, Derek has spent the past 15 years in a number of senior roles in the horticulture and environmental management sector, most recently as CEO of a national horticulture company. Additionally he has been a Kiwifruit grower for the past nine years and like many of you has gone through the ups and downs of the Psa roller coaster which has radically changed our industry and how we as growers need to approach this. Currently growing Green and G3 in Te Puna Derek has also done his time as a beekeeper and always looks forward to pollination time!

Aongatete Coolstores have an experienced team of Sprayers who work on our leased and managed orchards as well as providing assistance to our independent growers.

Field OperationsGraeme Philp leads our field operations. Graeme has had 30 years experience in local kiwifruit and his passion for growing and getting the best for growers is infectious. A recognized character at most local field days, Graeme delights in being up to date in the ever changing industry. He is enthusiastic about the team of orchard supervisors he leads for Aongatete and it has been great seeing that enthusiasm spreading through our orchard teams.

We employ a mixture of NZ resident, RSE, backpackers and contract workers who all operate under strict Aongatete Team Supervision.

In the time Graeme has been with us we have seen great benefits and we are looking forward to our Growers sharing the advantages of his knowledge. Graeme oversees all field operations for our managed and leased orchards and assists other independent Growers. He will be overseeing the upcoming Harvest Operation to ensure that Aongatete’s reputation for high quality harvesting is maintained.