Neil Trebilco has stepped down from his role as New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc president but says the industry faces an exciting future full of "huge potential".

He took up the position four years ago following the outbreak of Psa and said it was a devastating time for growers but he wanted to give back.

"I was also aware when a crisis hits like that it can be a difficult for everybody, however, you tend to find some people that have axes to grind.

"People have particular agendas and when the industry is under stress they will use those times to try to pull it apart ... for example our one desk structure.


"So I guess one of my focuses was to ensure that we retained the one desk structure."

The Psa outbreak affected growers financially and emotionally, he said.

However, its recovery had been remarkable.

"It has been rather amazing, actually. We have been through some tough times and while Psa has not gone away, the future for the industry is looking extremely bright and for me to see that is very gratifying.

"We have some issues with Psa this year and it has hit some orchards more than others but it's not the fatal fall that happened in 2011."

Opportunities were still afoot for the industry, he said. "I think there is still huge potential for the industry to grow the gold category, it is only a fraction of what it will be in the future."

Zespri had also made a difference on the international marketplace.

"It is a fantastic company and I think it's fair to say they have done a better job of managing its markets offshore.

"There has been a few hiccups along the way on learning how to do business in China because not every country has the same laws and cultures."

About eight years ago China was only a small part of our export market but in the next couple of years it's set to become, the largest, he said.

Meanwhile, Kiwifruit Vine Health had also come a long way, he said.

"They are doing a great job in regards to biosecurity for the kiwifruit industry and horticulture in general."

Mr Trebilco, who stood down as New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc president last month, wanted to pay tribute to others in the industry, including Mike Chapman, Peter Ombler and Ian Greaves.

He was looking forward to dedicating more time to his own orchards.

The former chemical engineer moved to Tauranga in 1996 with his wife Margaret to be closer to family, he said.