You'd be forgiven for thinking it was a baptism by fire when Colin Bond switched careers seven months ago.
The New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc chief executive says leaving his corporate banking role to head one of the country's largest corporates has had its challenges.
But the father of two told NZME although there have been some steep learning curves he is relishing the position.
Bond spent more than 20 years at ANZ, the country's largest bank, and spent the last three as the Bay of Plenty business regional manager which included agriculture customers.
That stood him in good stead, he said.
''The role is an advocacy role for growers and to me advocacy is all about relationships. I've spent years in relationship roles so I felt I had a good understanding of the industry."
Being an orchard owner has also helped Bond navigate his way through some tricky territory.
He admired the sector which had overcome PSA with growers working together to take on the world.
''That was the best example of the industry coming together to solve a common problem. I thought it was very inspiring.
''It was the best example of collaboration I have seen in the primary sector.''
Since Bond has been in the hot seat he has had to deal with other issues. These included a seasonal labour shortage crisis due to Covid, which involved advocacy work in Wellington with the Government and ministries.
''It's A, understanding of our industry's issues and what our industry needs for the future. And B, trying to understand who in government that has an influence over where our industry is going.''
Another bone of contention was the review of hydrogen cyanamide.
''Coming across to a new industry at any time can be difficult but when you have Covid, the labour shortage and hydrogen cyanamide, it hasn't been easy.''
Bond credits the great team he works with who do a fantastic job.
''The executive team and our grower forum members have been extremely supportive.''
He said understandably kiwifruit growers were nervous about the upcoming harvest but markets were strong.
''From a long-term point of view there is demand for kiwifruit. We're exporting Vitamin C during a global pandemic.''
Quick-fire Q & A
Your first ever paid job?
A milk run on the streets of Ashburton (all my work on the farm was unpaid).
It's a toss up between green, red and gold.
When the borders open up, where would you travel first and why?
Denmark, to my brother's wedding.
How many countries have you been to?
Kiwifruit, did you need to ask?
How do you drink your coffee?
Reluctantly – I prefer a cup of tea.
The best book you have read?
Seeds of Success, The Stories of New Zealand's Kiwifruit Pioneers.
A movie you would recommend?
Anything with Denzel Washington in it.
The best advice you have received from a mentor or someone you admire?
The impact you have on others is the greatest currency there is. We all have a responsibility to make a difference.