Your online orders cannot currently be placed through your PGW Customer Account Web login. Please contact our online support team for more information.

Study grant supports succession planning for winery company

Fruitfed Supplies Study Grant

Study grant supports succession planning for winery company

Working for a New Zealand owned company like Indevin Group means its people have numerous opportunities to develop their skills and technical know-how through on-the-job training and mentoring by more senior staff.

Alongside the potential for considerable depth and vast work experiences are opportunities to gain formal qualifications, something which is actively encouraged says North Island Viticulture Manager Sarah Phillips, who’s based at Indevin’s Gisborne site.

Sarah explains: “It’s in our interest to support our people in their desire to gain qualifications by giving them time during their workdays, whenever possible, for study requirements like online lessons, as well as time to attend any residential courses. We have an annual, internal scholarship called the Phill Dagger Scholarship.”

Within Sarah’s own team, Viticulture Technician Jade Maule is now enrolled in the Bachelor of Viticulture and Winemaking at EIT. Jade has chosen the part-time option for this three year degree, which means it will take her six years to complete the full course. Not only is Jade working full-time and studying part-time, she’s a mother of two with a busy homelife. Sarah admires Jade’s determination to gain the qualifications necessary for her to step into a management role in the future.

“After 27 years living in Gisborne,” explains Sarah, “I am looking at our future succession plan for this role and actively encouraging Jade and others to gain relevant qualifications and training.”

Born and bred in Gisborne, Jade initially set out to study vet nursing, but decided to change course, flying down to Blenheim to try out some winter pruning. This kickstarted her career in the wine industry, then she took on a vintage job in the Gisborne Indevin winery, and later, a vineyard supervisor role in Blenheim cemented her ambition to become a viticulturist. Following the arrival of her daughters, she moved home to be closer to family and returned to the Gisborne Winery as a Cellar Hand. This vintage reignited Jade’s passion for viticulture, and Sarah recruited Jade for a Viticulture Technician’s role where she’s responsible for data collection, soil and yield management. This year, Sarah has widened Jade’s exposure to other aspects of the business such as grower contact and support. She completed the Level 3 and 4 Horticulture certificates before embarking on the EIT degree.

Though challenging, working and studying while raising a young family, Jade says that when you have a strong interest in something, you can do anything!

The PGG Wrightson and Fruitfed Supplies study grant contributes to the Indevin scholarship fund which supports extra tuition for Indevin personnel. 

Jade was successful with her application for a scholarship from this study fund to help with two years of the fees for her bachelor’s degree. She says, “This has made a massive difference to me being able to undertake tertiary study.”

Sarah appreciates the PGG Wrightson and Fruitfed Supplies study grant and the opportunities it offers Indevin personnel. “Gisborne is a small region with a relatively small pool of skilled and qualified people. Having our people working on relevant tertiary qualifications helps when we’re seeking individuals to progress into management roles. The tertiary process process teaches a lot, not just the technical aspects, but discipline and research capabilities.

Fruitfed Supplies Key Account Manager Peter Mortimer explains the reasoning behind the study grant: “We are fortunate and proud to be in a position to award this grant in recognition for Indevin’s support and product acquisition throughout Indevin’s growing operations across the country. For us (Fruitfed Supplies), it is nice to know what these funds are used for and if possible, who, so we can pass on these initiatives to our staff. This often provides further opportunities in support of the partnership we have with Indevin.”

Within Indevin, other staff have received scholarships to support them with other training and completing NZQA qualifications with the Primary ITO | Te Pūkenga. “It’s great to see the passion for some of our people to upskill which is of benefit for our business and the wider region.”

Sarah appreciates the day-to-day support of Fruitfed Supplies Gisborne Area Sales Manager Patsy Matthews for a range of products and advice, and the Crop Monitoring team provides regular pest and disease monitoring.

“We also have outstanding support from Jon Peet, Fruitfed Supplies Technical Specialist for Viticulture. He’s our go-to guru, especially with the ongoing rain our region has experienced. Jon visits our vineyards regularly and is a great technical resource for grape growers in our region. It’s great to be able to get on the phone and get their support.”