New Zealand-based produce business T&G has announced new executive appointments including bringing in Gareth Edgecombe as chief executive officer.

Edgecombe, currently CEO of Comfort Group, was previously president of Campbell Soup Co.’s business in the Asia Pacific region and president of The Coca-Cola Co.’s operations in the South Pacific.

He replaces Thomas Bargetzi, who is standing down from as acting CEO on 16 April for family-related reasons. Edgecombe’s start date is yet to be confirmed.

T&G has also revealed a new chief operating officer in the shape of former Fonterra dairy cooperative man Peter Landon-Lane, who is the CEO of New Zealand government agency Plant & Food Research. He will also be acting CEO from 16 April until Edgecombe takes up his position.

Company chairman Professor Klaus Josef Lutz said: “We are sure that with the addition of Gareth and Peter to the executive team, T&G Global will reach its full potential with BayWa‘s support and continued investment.”

“We are delighted to appoint a CEO of Mr Edgecombe’s calibre to lead T&G Global through the next phase of growth with a strong customer focus supported by global brands.”

Edgecombe began his career in New Zealand with Coca-Cola Amatil in sales and marketing and was general manager of Puhoi Valley Cheese. He also served on the board of the Australian Food and Grocery Council.

At Plant & Food Research, Landon-Lane led the merger of the Crop and Food Research Institute and HortResearch Institutes.

Lutz said, “The board is delighted to appoint Mr Landon-Lane as COO and acting CEO, particularly given his deep understanding of the horticultural sector and experience of T&G Global’s apple plant variety rights (PVRs) including Jazz, Envy and Pacific Rose.”

Landon-Lane has significant operational experience gained with New Zealand’s Fonterra Cooperative dairy group. He previously led Fonterra’s businesses in Europe and Japan as well as sales and operations planning for Fonterra’s global cheese and protein business.

Both Edgecombe and Landon-Lane will be based in T&G’s head office at Mt Wellington, Auckland.

Earlier this month, T&G sold the major assets of its processed food subsidiary ENZAFoods New Zealand to local peer Cedenco.

The company can trace its roots back to 1897. Its majority shareholder today is the German trading and services group BayWa.