Denver Glass – Company founder
Denver arrived in Christchurch from Ireland with his family in 1956. He was only 16 but had already had worked for several years, part-time, during school year in his parents Northern Ireland country store, and had left school before aged 15 to work as a full time grocer for his parents. Up to the age of 10, Denver had learned from duties shared with nine siblings on the family farm.
“My father wanted to give his children a shot at a better life and believed that New Zealand would be a place of opportunity,” says Mr Glass. “It was exciting coming here with the whole family. It wasn’t quite as easy as we were led to believe, but there were always opportunities.”
Opportunity presented itself for Denver in purchasing a milk run when he was 20. Although it meant 1am starts it was a good earner and eventually allowed him to buy a small property at Yalhurst. Debating what to do with the land, his sister Doris, who was farming pigs outside of Ashburton suggested pigs and delivered three sows and a boar to his door.
“Every one laughed about my three little pigs” says Denver, “but they became the start of my breeding herd.”
Despite knowing nothing about farming pigs, Denver set about learning everything he could. He started however with the basic premise to respect the animals. “I grew up on a farm, so I’m a farmer through and through and a stock man at heart identifies totally with his animals. If you identify in sympathetic terms with the animals you’ll always do right by them.”
Over the next ten years Denver grew his farm and stock numbers through instinct and empathy with the animals, but mostly through sheer hard work. The business developed steadily and Denver soon owned a cutting plant in Levin giving him the ability to respond promptly to orders around the country. While he’s grown the company into New Zealand’s biggest pork producer, he says you can never stay still and always have to be looking for the next opportunity.
Lynden Glass – Chief Executive
Lynden is the youngest son of Denver Glass (the owner of Freshpork) and in addition to having grown up in the business, he has a background in Accountancy and Computing.
Lynden has considerable commercial and management experience in the U.K. Europe and New Zealand. Prior to joining Freshpork, is was Chief Financial Officer the Minter Ellison Law firm, based in Auckland. Lynden is married with three young children.
Peter MacDonald – Commercial Manager
Peter has been involved in the pork industry since 1991. Coming originally from a Finance and Accounting background, he has worked across a number of different industries including Manufacturing, Motor Vehicle, Merchant Banking and Business Consulting before “seeing the light” and joining the pork industry. This involved 5 years managing Huttons Kiwi’s SI processing plant and then 17 years as General Manager of PIC, NZ’s main pig genetics company.
He joined Freshpork in January 2015 as their Commercial Manager, with his key responsibilities being pig supply and corporate services. “I always viewed Freshpork as a leader and innovator in the NZ pork industry and am excited to be part of a family owned company who are focused on growing domestic pork consumption”.
Outside of work Peter enjoys spending time with his family and beating a “little white ball” around a golf course. He still plays off a single figure handicap, but these days he is more involved in the administration side of the sport for Canterbury Golf.
Julian Anderson – National Sales Manager
Julian has 17 years’ experience in the meat industry. He started his career with one of NZ’s largest export meat company’s working in both production and sales. For the last five years has worked for Foodstuffs North Island as the meat procurement manager where he gained valuable knowledge of the retail sector.
Julian is originally from the West Coast of the South Island and moved to Wellington seven years ago. Julian’s interests include cricket, rugby, golf and aviation.
Allan Digby – Projects
Allan has been in the meat game most of his working life starting in NZ followed by time in UK, Europe and Australia before eventually returning to NZ. He has been involved in a range of roles from accounting and admin through production planning, processing and abattoir general management, product development, retail shops to canning and sales and marketing.
Allan joined Freshpork in 2005 to set up cabinet ready meat supply to The Warehouse Extra stores. When Warehouse decided perishable groceries were not for them Allan moved to Levin to manage the site and adjacent bacon and ham processing plant. He now enjoys the business development role.
Allan says the most exciting time in his career to date was gathering crocodile eggs from nests on Northern Territory cattle stations in between drafting cattle and mustering buffalo. Now life is a little quieter on that front he enjoys a game of golf when he is home and not wandering through supermarkets…..”
Yvonne Clyne – Marketing Manager
Glenn Nicolson – Freshpork Northern
Butchering is in Glenn’s blood – having first picked up a knife at the tender age of 7 years in his father’s butcher shop. That was when he first found out that knifes are sharp – after that first slice to the finger he never looked back. “Butchering is a skill & art form that is pretty special and not for everyone or the faint hearted”
Glenn started a butchery apprenticeship with Progressive Enterprises in 1985, He completed and became a qualified Journeymen Butcher in 1988 and was the best first year apprentice for Manukau Institute of Technology. Glenn spent 13 years with Progressive managing various butcheries and then moved on to work and manage a private butcher shop alongside his father.
Glenn also fine-tuned his skills by spending 2 years working in retail butchering in the UK 2003- 2005 and completed the Meat Executive Programme at Monash University in 2008. Glenn joined Freshpork in 2006. He is passionate about rugby and enjoys a spot of fishing. “Never trust a skinny Butcher!”
Justin Smith – National Production Manager
Justin starting his apprenticeship as a butcher with the New World supermarket in Levin. Having finished top of his class in 1998, he moved to Lakeview meat processors where he was heavily involved in setting up an innovative “added value” room.
Justin moved to Freshpork in 2001 and held a variety of cutting floor roles before being appointed cutting floor supervisor in 2005. He took on the additional responsibilities of the cool-store in 2011 and in 2013 became Levin site manager. As of 2014, Justin has held the role of Freshpork National Production Manager.
While not always an easy task, Justin enjoys the challenge of combining procurement, production and sales. Outside of work Justin and his loving wife Leela have four children. He doesn’t have too much spare time but tries to spend as much time as possible with the kids on the jet skis at their favorite holiday spot – Lake Taupo.
Jason McLaren – Freshpork Bay City
Jason carries on a long-standing family connection with the Bay City Abattoir site. Since 1976 there has been at least one member of the McLaren family working at the site- there are four employed at Freshpork Bay City at present.
Since taking up a school holiday job at the age of 16, Jason worked on-and-off at Bay City for the next 11 years. After completing a double degree at the University of Otago the big OE beckoned and the next 8 years were spent in the UK. Upon returning to New Zealand to start a family Jason moved back to his hometown of Timaru and took up the Site Managers role at Freshpork Bay City.
Outside of his career at Freshpork Jason enjoys participating in a wide range of sports and is also a keen hunter and fisherman.
Ian McIntosh – Technical Manager
Technical Manager Ian McIntosh was born in Fiji and grew up in the sugar industry in Northern Australia. He later completed a degree at Queensland Agricultural College in Applied Science in Rural Technology, specializing in pig production and meat science. “I like taking technology and translating it into dollars,” he says. The College was the first facility in Australia to set up a High Health Status herd free of the serious pig pathogens and parasites.
Ian says his role in the company’s Technical Team often involves converting the production figures from farmers into financial data to help them decide where to direct their focus to maximize returns. “This is a stimulating and exciting industry to work in because there are always production challenges and new ideas from science to consider”.
Odhran McCloskey – Information Technology Manager
Originally from Dublin, Ireland, Odhran has over 30 years in the I.T. industry working predominantly in large corporate environments. Odhran moved with his family to New Zealand in 2002. He worked for the Canterbury District Health Board as their I.T. Infrastructure Manager and later as Business Requirements Manager for 8 years before joining Freshpork. Odhran has a particular interest in demystifying and making technology accessible. “Until computers are as intuitive to use as a kettle, there’s more to be done.”