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Jerf van Beek

Social Practice – Meeting Consumer and Regulatory Expectations

Jerf van Beek
National Coordinator for Seasonal Labour, Horticulture NZ


Jerf came to New Zealand in the early 80’s as a backpacker from Holland after completing his studies in Agricultural Civil engineering. He started his career in fruit growing as most do picking apples. Soon Jerf became self employed and started his own labour contracting business. This was followed quickly by land ownership.

One of NZ largest pipfruit growing companies offered him a management position which he ran parallel with his own export production. During that time Jerf represented the pipfruit industry at government level to contribute to the development of The National Seasonal Horticulture and Viticulture Seasonal Labour Strategy.

He is now responsible for the overall National Strategy for Seasonal Labour in the Horticulture and Viticulture industry which has been instrumental in the development of the RSE scheme and the complete turn around of the seasonal labour market in New Zealand. Jerf however still finds time to be a Cherry grower in the Hawkes Bay in his spare time.

Social Practice – Meeting Consumer and Regulatory Expectations

Kiwi consumers are increasingly interested in knowing that the products that are buying are being produced by people who are working in good conditions and being paid fairly. With an estimated 3,000 people in New Zealand affected by Modern Slavery, it’s more important that producers and retailers are giving consumers that assurance.

Kiri Hannifin will talk about Countdown’s journey to embed Responsible Sourcing practices within their supply chain and the importance of working alongside their suppliers to protect and uphold worker’s rights.

The Workshop will be a combined session with Jerf van Beek who will be covering employment law.

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