As Riversun’s longest serving employee, Athol Campbell is often the one called on to remember things about the early days.
His skills are varied, and wide-ranging, having been involved in all areas of our operations over the past 25-plus years. Today with his extensive experience and practical hands-on knowledge, Athol is Riversun’s go-to man liaising with the technical aspects of avocado and kiwifruit production – from sourcing seed and plant materials to inspecting plants prior to dispatch and customer technical support.
“I could be organising and installing irrigation, doing pest and disease monitoring, liaising with the Ministry for Primary Industries or other agencies, problem solving, sampling, capital development work... just about everything.”
It all started when he was hired to supervise the operations of a couple of kiwifruit orchards, and things developed from there. The rest, as they say, is history.
Athol loves that he is involved in the production of things that are used by people and add to the value of New Zealand – food, wine, avocados, persimmons, kiwifruit and more.
"It’s good to be doing that rather than something that is not needed in the world,” he says.
Time is always the biggest challenge.
“We are always looking to accomplish operations within a set time-frame and window of opportunity – it is always a juggling act,” he says.
“I’ve been here a lifetime. I like that Geoff is visionary in his approach and that he loves being on the leading edge...I enjoy being a part of that.”
Outside work he is a swimmer, surfer and family man, with three children.