The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

New Zealand Hops announces new CEO

Food and beverage industry leader, Craig Orr, has been announced as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of New Zealand Hops Ltd (NZHL).

New Zealand Hops is a contemporary grower co-operative, based in Nelson, Tasman, the only region commercially growing hops in New Zealand. The co-operative represents the interests of 28 growers, many of whom are intergenerational families, having grown hops in the region for more than 150 years.

The co-ordination of the industry was first initiated in 1939 with the inception of the New Zealand Hop Marketing Board. Now, New Zealand Hops facilitates the export of 80% of harvest to more than 40 countries. New Zealand grown hops are in demand, as the product is considered a premium offering, sought after world-wide. The challenge ahead is to expand the industry, whilst balancing demand with supply and maintaining the premium position.

Orr has built a strong career in New Zealand’s food industry with leadership roles in Nestlé, Lion, SunRice and Moana New Zealand, developing proven strengths in strategy and brand building. Coupled with his wide-ranging sector experience in FMCG, international beer, wines and spirits, and our primary sector seafood, is a genuine respect for the NZ Story. Having lived and worked extensively overseas Orr has seen rewards from the Kiwi ability to connect and innovate, and understands the benefit from establishing a premium proposition.

“In our search for our new CEO, it was Craig’s outstanding enthusiasm, insight and experience that shone through” says Paul Dalzell, Chairman of NZHL. “He has built brands, and developed markets with great energy and is passionate about the New Zealand Hops story – of our people, provenance and our craft. We believe he has the right attributes to bring this all together and lead the organisation in a sustainable and impactful way for our growers and our partners around the world.”

Orr was born and raised in Taupo, and his whakapapa can be traced to Belfast, Northern Ireland and Atiu, Cook Islands.  Married to Jenny, with two adult children, Craig enjoys hospitality, the golf course and is a firm believer in having fun whilst delivering on strategy.  Craig and Jenny will be relocating to Nelson, from Taupo, with his new position starting on 10th February 2020.