Geoff Thorpe, NZ Plant Producers vice chair and sector representative for orchard and vine producers, has resigned.
As owner and founder of Gisborne’s Riversun Nursery and Linnaeus Laboratory, Geoff leads a team producing grape vines, avocados, kiwifruit, and operating a quarantine facility.
In 2017 Geoff received the Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for services to the wine industry. He was also made a Fellow of NZ Winegrowers in 2017, in recognition of his dedication to the improvement of the quality of vineyard planting material.
Geoff began his career as the 1985 Wrightson Young Orchardist award winner. He credits its prize of a study tour of European horticulture as being the inspiration for a successful and innovative career.
NZ Plant Producers’ chair Mike Simpson says Geoff has made an outstanding contribution:
“Geoff played a key role in establishing NZ Plant Producers, starting with the initial discussion seven years ago, evolving to a position on the steering committee formed between NGIA and potential new members . Geoff then went on to become a foundation board member of NZ Plant Producers, and later the vice chair.
Geoff is a robust debater and critical issues certainly got a thorough discussion while Geoff was around the table. Geoff generally pushes for a balanced, people-focussed outcome.
On a more light hearted note Geoff was a busy director, balancing the interests of Riversun group, and family .He is also wired to do whatever it takes to get the job done . This trait came to the fore when we at an early meeting at Auckland airport with Andrew Harrison as the chair.
We were waiting for Geoff to join us. He phones us to check the location, as he had dutifully made his way to Wellington airport.
As cool as a cucumber Geoff was at Auckland airport within an hour.
Thanks, Geoff, for a great stint as vice chair and board member.”