Ben Cant is a third-generation citrus grower, packer, marketer and exporter. He spent 15 years running a modern packhouse in his family business, which supplied both major supermarket chains and export markets.
During this time, Ben implemented changes to increase efficiency, out-turns and retail packaging options. He has a broad experience in orchard and packhouse operations, biosecurity and logistics. Ben was also previously on the Board of Riversun Export.
At the end of 2017, Ben’s family orchard was acquired by the Costa Group. He is so passionate about the industry, that there was never a doubt he would remain active in it, and he has taken up the role of Citrus Supply Manager for the Costa Group.
The Board elected him Chair at its meeting on Wednesday.
Ben joined the Citrus Australia Board as a Grower Director in 2012, and he said he has been proud to have been part of initiatives that have increased grower returns and the profitability of the industry.
He said he was humbled to be elected to the role.
“The recognition by my peers, the Board and the wider industry is a humbling experience. I will strive to do my best to deliver greater outcomes for the citrus industry,” Ben said.
“I’ll bring experience, broad production and supply chain knowledge, and passion to the role, as well as a team approach, a collegial atmosphere and an inclusive environment.
“I hope to continue the industry’s upward trajectory, have even greater grower engagement, increase Citrus Australia’s membership and continue to support the terrific work the existing team is already doing.”
He thanked the outgoing Chair, Tania Chapman, for her leadership and contribution during her eight years in the role.
“Tania has many years of hands-on growing experience and was able to lead the Citrus Australia board with a high level of rapport with the greater horticulture community,” Ben said.
Greg Dhnaram was reelected the Deputy Chair.
Greg welcomed Ben into the role and said he would bring a range of experience in, and passion for, the citrus industry to the role.
“Ben has a great understanding of the opportunities and challenges of our industry,” Greg said.
“The Australian citrus industry is enjoying strong prices thanks to unprecedented export demand, supported by the tireless work of the Citrus Australia members, staff and board. I’m confident Ben will lead our company and industry to continue the strong trajectory.
Greg also thanked outgoing Chair, Tania Chapman, for her leadership during her eight years in the role.
“During her tenure, Tania’s achievements include defending grower interests in backpacker labour reforms and raising the profile of citrus at all levels,” Greg said.
“Tania was the inaugural Chair of the Voice of Horticulture and she was the driver in addressing many other issues in the industry, for which we thank her.”
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