Kate Trufitt

Apata Group
Tell us about your background.

I started in horticulture working for Cedenco in Gisborne in a marketing role moving into Logistic Management.
In 2005 I joined Riversun Nursery in a Client Services Manager role responsible for all business as usual aspects of the nursery from sales to production and logistics.
I moved to Kaiaponi Farms as Market Manager in 2008, here I developed industry market relationships and started on my journey of compliance and health and safety.
Leaving Gisborne in 2011 I joined Fresh Direct in Auckland as HR/H&S/Compliance Management role.

What’s the best thing about your role?

Variation and getting to mix with lots of different people from growers, industry people and experts in their field whether that is biosecurity, health and safety or food safety.
I love seeing the growth and change in the value of the horticultural industry.

Do you travel much for the role ?

I travel for my additional roles I have taken on for Hort NZ. NZ Gap Committee and Hort NZ H & S Council.

Was being a woman a hindrance or a help in getting this role? Tell us about that.

Being a woman, I don’t think came into it. I believe I got my current role based on my skills and aptitude to get the job done.

Did you require any specific education or training for this role?

Safety and Compliance does need training, you can learn on the job but someone has to be willing to give you that opportunity. There are skill requirements for both and some formal training would be required.

What do you do now?

In 2015 I moved to Tauranga and joined Apata Group – taking on Group Safety, Compliance and Sustainability Manager Role. This role has grown since I first took it on as the field of compliance and sustainability becomes more vital to successful business.

How did you get that role? What was the pathway to that?

As you can see from my background I have been on a journey and during this gathered a lot of knowledge regarding the horticultural industry. Having worked from nursery through post-harvest to market has been an advantage in understanding all aspects of the value chain.

If you have children how do/did you balance your job and family? What are/were the biggest issues? How did you deal with them?

No children –so have been able to give the time to my roles.

Do you have any qualifications?

I have completed many courses over my career from marketing, logistics, H & S (Nebosh), HR and many others. I do not have a degree, but it hasn’t held me back.

As a woman involved in horticulture is there anything that you would like to see change that would make your life/role better?

I applaud the WIH and believe having a great supportive network will only strengthen opportunities for women in our industry and beyond.

Do you have any advice/tips for other women wanting a role like yours?

Talk to people in the industry about opportunities, I think there are a lot of roles that are not on our radar that are available. Sustainability is obviously a new growth area.