Businessman Tony Gibbs has died at the age of 72, following a period of ill health.
Gibbs, who received the Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2009, headed T&G Global for 16 years, from 1995 until 2011.
Throughout his tenure - as both charimarn and long-standing director - T&G (formerly Turners and Growers) grew from a domestic fruit and vegetable seller to a significant player in the fresh produce industry.
The company was responsible for introducing new varieties, such as Envy and Jazz apples, to the world.
T&G Global chief executive Gareth Edgecombe said the company was immensely grateful for Gibbs' commitment over the years.
"Under Tony’s leadership and strategic direction, T&G reshaped its business to focus on its core strength of fresh produce and expanded its global footprint," Edgecombe said on Monday.
"As a devoted mandarin orchardist at heart, Tony’s experience in the industry has been invaluable to our business, and our heartfelt condolences are with Val, his children, family and friends, throughout this difficult time."