Orchard Services Team

Eugene Beneke

Grower and Commercial Manager

Eugene has a background spanning supply chain, business development and relationship management, with much of his experience working with primary industry partners including kiwifruit, apples and wine.

Eugene's role is to lead our Grower focussed teams providing technical support, orchard maintenance, spraying and harvest services to our supplying growers.

Warren Bridges

Orchard Optimisation Lead

Warren has his feet planted securely in the here and now, while holding a strong vision for OPAC's future. In his day-to-day work, Warren enjoys sharing his 20 years-plus of orchard management, packhouse experience and horticultural training with his colleagues an orchard team.

He believes strongly in time spent in the orchard, where he applies the power of observation to develop the best solutions for every vine and orchard.

Warren maintains his focus on the future through his commitment to driving improvements that maximise production whilst maintaining production potential. Warren is also looking to the future through his work with new varieties and techniques: since 1994, he has been involved in national and international trials with Zespri, Hort Research and Plant and Food Research.

Craig Ward

Technical Services Lead

Overseeing the Laboratory and Grower Liaison teams, Craig will provide best practice technical advisory and laboratory services, with the aim of allowing our managed and non-managed orchard growers to optimise fruit production across all of their orchards.

Craig says he is passionate about helping growers to produce high yields of quality fruit, and in taking the latest research and working out how it could be practically applied on orchard in a way that benefits us. Particular areas of interest are crop protection and fruit maturity standards.

Rene Kapa

Orchard Manager

Rene's background includes business management and human resources and communications qualifications. 

Rene has experience working with local EBOP Iwi Ngati Awa in an Agribusiness financial management capacity and we look forward to further introducing Rene to the practical aspects of the kiwifruit industry. He will be working across all aspects of orchard management with support from the rest of the Orchard Management team.

Ricky Barring

Orchard Manager

Ricky's background in horticulture extends back to his home in India.  Since moving to New Zealand in 2010, he has extended his horticultural skills from orchard worker, to supervisor, to trainee orchard manager.  

As an Orchard Manager, Ricky is able to utilise and underpin his orchard management decisions from formal study and research.

Royce Hau

Orchard Manager - Te Kaha

Royce joined OPAC in 2010 as an orchard worker, transitioning into 2 years supervising, then 2 years in Opotiki as a Trainee Manager. During his time at OPAC, he has completed up to level 5 Horticultural studies and has boosted his experience in all aspects of the kiwifruit industry.

Royce Hau’s Whakapapa is Te Whanau a Apanui, with affiliations into Whakakatohea, Ngati Wai and Nga Puhi. He now manages whanau kiwifruit orchards in Te Kaha and his passion is to develop his whanau and locals to manage their own whanau orchards.

Alan Henderson

Gisborne Grower Liaison

A well-known face in Gisborne, Alan initially joined the kiwifruit industry for a six week stint in a packhouse when he was with the then Dalgety Crown Company as a stock and station agent. Some 26 years later Alan is still enjoying his work in the kiwifruit industry; for Alan it's all about the people.

Alan describes himself as the 'go to guy' for the Gisborne growers. His focus is on building enduring relationships with the local kiwifruit community and ensuring that growers receive the best support possible. Based in Gisborne with a small field team, Alan facilitates the delivery of a depth of services from the entire OPAC team, including post-harvest services, orchard management, technical services, Psa monitoring, crop counting and more. 

Alan is excited about the future of the industry in the Gisborne region and believes there is as yet untapped potential for new kiwifruit orchard developments.