Trailblazing efforts to boost Hawke's Bay's apple industry have been recognised by the New Zealand apple and pear industry.

The immediate-past chair of New Zealand Apples & Pears Inc (NZAPI), Nadine Tunley (now living in Wellington), and Belgium-based international sales pioneer Tony Fissette have been recognised by their peers for outstanding contributions to the industry, with NZ Apples and Pears chief executive Alan Pollard calling the pair "trailblazers in their respective fields".

"Through their work, passion and commitment they have forever made their mark on our apple industry both internationally and here at home," Pollard said.

Tunley, who was elected the industry's first woman chair in 2012 after joining the board as a director in 2010, oversaw the development of the 2013 NZAP strategy that set the goal of becoming a $1 billion export industry by 2022.


During her eight years of service the industry's export returns grew from $340 million to more than $700m in 2017.

Pollard said that during her leadership she ensured strong relationships with Government ministers and across primary-sector groups.

She also represented the industry with distinction, including being a member of the previous Government's trade advisory group Biosecurity 2025; and the current Government's Primary Sector Council.

He said Fissette, who is T&G Global's general manager in Europe, was a keen advocate of innovation and the need to develop the right varieties for the right market. He has spent 44 years promoting the New Zealand industry within the European sales environment.

 T&G Global's general manager in Europe Tony Fissette. Photo / Supplied
T&G Global's general manager in Europe Tony Fissette. Photo / Supplied

He successfully introduced the New Zealand varieties Royal Gala and Braeburn to the European market, and in more recent years premium JAZZ™ and Envy™ apples.

"Just 10 years ago, Mr Fissette and his team celebrated selling the 100-millionth carton of New Zealand apples in Europe, and a few weeks back, they reached 10 million carton sales of JAZZ™ alone.

The pair were officially recognised the NZ Apples and Pears annual meeting in Christchurch.