Vegetable Research & Innovation

The Vegetable Research & Innovation Board is responsible for the governance of Horticulture New Zealand’s vegetable research and innovation activities.


The core purpose of the VR&I Board is to underpin sustainable growth of the vegetable sector. The VR&I Board aims to achieve this by developing, resourcing and managing a cross-sector research and innovation portfolio and communicating the results of this research to industry stakeholders.


The VR&I Board also represent the combined interests of vegetable sector to New Zealand’s research providers and provides a platform for knowledge sharing and leveraging research and innovation investment in vegetables research.


Our Board


David Hadfield

David is Chair of the VR&I Board. David is also the Chair of Process Vegetables New Zealand. He is a Director of Malabar Farms Ltd which operates a Arable and Process Vegetable operation in Canterbury.

Mike Parker

Mike is vice chairman of Vegetables NZ Inc and represents them on the VR&I board. Mike is manager of Parker's Gardens and also has over 15 years of research experience in the maize, vegetable and agrichemical industries.

 Paul Munro

Paul Munro is a co-opted representative on the VR&I Board. Paul has 35 years R&D experience in the Agchem industry and currently manages a contract research company, Peracto New Zealand based in Pukekohe.

Dereck Ferguson

Dereck Ferguson represents the New Zealand Buttercup Squash Council on the VR&I Board. Dereck is the Agronomy Manager for Brownrigg Agriculture in Hawkes Bay, overseeing squash, maize and forage crop programmes.

 James Kuperus

 James represents Onions NZ on the VR&I Board. James is the CEO of Onions New Zealand. 

 Dr Alison Stewart

Dr Alison Stewart is the CEO of the Foundation for Arable Research (FAR). Alison brings specialist knowledge in the areas of plant protection, sustainable disease management, plant biotechnology. Alison has a wealth of experience managing research groups and programmes in New Zealand universities and CRI's.

 Dr Sally Anderson

Dr Sally Anderson is the VR&I Co-ordinator and manages the planning and implementation of research for the VR&I Board. Sally has over 16 years research experience and leads the plant health R&D team at Market Access Solutionz, a Wellington-based consultancy.