Zespri's new chief executive, Dan Mathieson, will split his time equally between New Zealand and Singapore in what he says is a logical extension of the kiwifruit marketer's global ambitions.
The North Shore born and bred Mathieson, who has been with Zespri since 2003, was heading up Zespri's global sales and marketing hub in Singapore before his elevation to the top job.
Zespri, which markets the bulk of New Zealand's kiwifruit crop to the world beyond Australia and New Zealand, plans to double global sales to $4.5 billion by 2025, from $2.2b in the last financial year.
The company's emphasis is on supplying global markets all year round, which means growing kiwifruit abroad in the New Zealand offseason and making sure that demand is met with supply.
Zespri has 21 offices around the world and 220 of its 500-strong global work force operate outside New Zealand, so Mathieson said splitting his time between the two countries was a logical step.
"I think it's an innovative move and a logical step for the New Zealand kiwifruit industry," he said in an interview.
"It is absolutely important that we have an eye on our global strategy, starting from our consumers back to our growers," he said.
"Having a chief executive focused on both ends of the value chain is really important for the successful evolution of that strategy."
A cornerstone of Zespri's strategy is to promote demand ahead of supply, and to provide the right volume of product for those markets.
Zespri already grows kiwifruit in Italy, Japan and South Korea to maintain all year round supply.
Mathieson said Zespri had not lost sight of its long-held ambition to grow fruit in China - its biggest market.
Zespri had its fingers burned in the People's Republic in the mid-2000s when a small-scale trial run of its gold variety ending up with fruit being grown illegally.
This time around, Zespri will look to existing Chinese varieties to grow, using its New Zealand expertise.
Zespri is looking at different supply locations in China, assessing soil quality, temperature and growing conditions in general.
"Over the next couple of years we will also look at partner selection and look at hopefully developing a good supply base out of China," Mathieson said.
China is already the world's biggest kiwifruit producer.
"They have some very exciting varieties there as well, so we believe that in the future, we will be able to bring our New Zealand expertise to the Chinese supply part of the business and grow really good quality kiwifruit there, so that we can provide premium kiwifruit in the China market for 12 months of the year," he said.
"We are looking at all the local varieties to establish which variety would make sense for Zespri to grow in China."
In the big picture, Mathieson said the global theme of more and more consumers turning to healthier food choices remained a key one for Zespri.
Looking ahead, Mathieson said Zespri faced a highly competitive market for fruit.
"Consumers have many choices so it is very important that we stay relevant to the consumer and that we continue to invest in the messaging to our consumers," he said.
"A big part of our focus will be on continuing our strong investment in our markets but there will be increasing competition the kiwifruit space."
In terms of competition, new varieties werre starting to emerge out of China and Italy.
"And the companies that are growing new varieties in Italy and China are looking to extend their seasons by growing Chile, so we expect to see some competition coming over the next five to 10 years," he said.
Nevertheless, Zespri still held to its ambitious sales target. "The goal is to double sales by 2025 and we think that is a realistic target because of the growing demand for healthy, nutritious products around the world and how Zespri fits into that."