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General Manager


Southern Packers


  • Food processing, logistics and export
  • Lead Business Performance & Growth
  • South Canterbury, New Zealand


Southern Packers grades, packs and exports onions to Europe and Asia, as well as supplying the local New Zealand market.  Based in Washdyke, Timaru, the business has operated since 1999 and is owned by four local growers.  The business processes around 30,000 tonnes of onions each year and utilises the latest technology to lift efficiency and achieve higher productivity per labour unit. This has been made possible with the installation of an Ellisam Optical Grader complemented with an Auto Bagger and palletising machine. Changing consumer demands have led to growth in opportunities for value-added product such as peeled, sliced and diced onions.


Reporting to the Board of Directors, the General Manager has full accountability for the performance of the business.  A key focus is increasing business performance through the development and implementation of strategic and operational plans to provide sustainable shareholder returns and ensure customer expectations are met. Relationships, people leadership, production planning, operational efficiency and identifying opportunities for growth are all critical elements of this diverse leadership role.


Suitable applicants will have demonstrated ability to provide clarity and consistency of leadership to a staff, systems and processes. They will build and maintain effective relationships with key stakeholders, provide motivational and effective leadership to the seasonal and permanent staff, and ensure the business maintains a focus on health & safety, compliance, production efficiency and continuous improvement.  Ensuring the financial profitability of the business, and identifying, research and developing business cases for new opportunities are also key.



Applicants will demonstrate the following:


  • Proven people leadership experience with the ability to develop cohesive and productive teams.
  • Experience within a packhouse, food processing, logistics or similar setting.
  • Demonstrated financial management skills to ensure business profitability in conjunction with stringent cost controls.
  • Experience leading health & safety, compliance and continuous improvement.
  • Proven relationship building and communication skills.
  • A focus on ensuring customer and export requirements are met at all times.
  • Experience reporting to a Board.


This is an opportunity for a motivated General Manager to play a pivotal role in the ongoing success of an established food processing and export operation whilst enjoying the lifestyle offering of the South Canterbury region.




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Confidential enquiries can be made to Graham Ewing or Lynell Bell of EQI Global on +64 3 377 7793 or email at search@eqiglobal.com


Applications for this role should include a cover letter and resume. All applications will be acknowledged via email.


Closing date for applications is Friday 22 October 2021.

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