Gilbertson Associates

Expert advice on market access, biosecurity and other operational/system issues to do with export of horticultural and arable products.


Gilbertson Associates Ltd (first incorporated 2001) aims to provide an alternative resourcing option for horticultural and arable organisations and businesses in managing projects and issues related to market access, biosecurity and trade.

We recognise the difficulty businesses and organisations face in resourcing these areas due to either financial priorities or through the lack of appropriate experience when it is critically needed.

Our aim is to provide a solution through a flexible contracting or consultancy arrangement to get you up and running. We look to tap into the skill sets within your business and pair up with associated industry experts where beneficial to provide the solution to meet your needs.

However don’t leave it until the problem arises – a strategic involvement from Gilbertson Associates will help minimise the risks from manifesting in the first place.

As the principal of Gilbertson Associates I have successfully straddled the roles of the regulator/policy maker and the commercial business for a number of years. When you have a real desire to make it work and pairing this with the experience to know the road to take, a successful long term relationship eventuates.

We look forward to the opportunity to discuss your needs.

Roger Gilbertson, Prinicpal

  • Gilbertson Associates
  • e.
  • p. +64 7 576 0210
  • m +64 275 415 647
  • contact us

Areas of Expertise

Market Access Solutions

Gilbertson Associates look to provide solutions for Horticultural/Arable/Plants businesses to the ongoing challenges of market access by:

  • Building individual business knowledge of market access requirements for key markets. At the same time linking this with knowledge of market access characteristics of the products being produced;
  • Providing an oversight of potential market access and trade issues including phytosanitary, food safety and residues, sustainability, environmental regulations, and quality.
  • Issues management - gaining or regaining access. Assisting exporters through the challenges of achieving ongoing quality access to markets.
  • Assisting in negotiation of requirements through a longstanding working relationship with regulatory bodies.
  • Integrating Market Access requirements with Customer requirements to ensure the efficient utilisation of resources.
  • Coordinating specific market work-plans and pre-clearance programmes.

Biosecurity Risk Management

The risks of Biosecurity failing are all too apparent. Gilbertson Associates can assist with industry planning in this area by:

  • Industry oversight of Biosecurity risks. Monitoring, understanding and communicating key Biosecurity risks on behalf of the industry.
  • Industry representation in Government Industry Agreements and the associated Biosecurity incursion response protocols.
  • Development and assistance with industry incursion response plans and pest management plans.
  • Delivery of Biosecurity training programmes in association with business partners.
  • Example; Accredited persons (open and check sea-containers) training and Transitional facility operator workshops delivered in conjunction with Bay of Plenty Polytechnic.

Compliance and Integrated Supply Chain Programmes

Compliance is becoming increasingly complex. Gilbertson Associates look to simplify the impacts and provide an integrated solution for all your compliance needs.

  • Solutions can be provided for all levels from grower and packhouse groups through to industry wide programmes.
  • Simplifying and integrating various Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) programmes (e.g. GlobalGAP, NZ GAP, SQF, Nurture and WQA) to satisfy all customer demands.
  • Bringing this all together through a Customer Assurance Programme (food safety, residue, sustainability) that is fit for purpose and will meet the market and customer expectation.
  • Likewise, solutions for Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) programmes such as British Retail Consortium (BRC), HACCP and Food Safety plans are increasingly important. We can take you through a means to integrate individual plans yet prepare the business for the growing expectation of food safety controls.
  • In the export environment you then need to add your MAF phytosanitary, residue and grade certification requirements, Customs Secure Export Partnership, Country of Origin labelling, Organic certification and a myriad of other regulatory needs.
  • Ever wanted to bring these all together and implement a fully integrated Supply chain assurance programme?

Technical Solutions - Crop Protection Programmes

The breadth of experience enables us to translate the market and customer signals into specific technical programmes including;

  • The development of crop protection programmes.
  • Liaison with Agrichemical industry to identify your unique needs and opportunities for more effective controls.
  • The oversight of orchard trials and innovation projects to further enhance and develop crop protection programmes.
  • The coordination of focused training and tech transfer programmes to ensure uptake of technical learning’s are understood and applied by spray applicators and orchard managers.
  • The development of robust and complimentary residue assurance programmes to address consumer expectations.

Innovation Programme Management

Customer focused programmes can’t be static if they are to keep pace with changing expectations and technologies. Gilbertson Associates can assist in this area by;

  • Assisting in the development of market access/biosecurity innovation strategies
  • Coordination of innovation projects/programmes to ensure the deliverables are meeting expectations.
  • Review and translation of scientific data into practical summaries and solutions.
  • Identification of R&D funding opportunities.


If your company does not have the technical, QC or QA capability or capacity you may consider using Verinz to deliver your compliance, verification function. verinz

  • VERINZ, an associated company of Gilbertson Associates, is designed to address resourcing constraints often experienced in the verification/compliance aspects of any and every business.
  • VERINZ provides an effective outsourcing solution by minimising the cost of in-house compliance business units.
  • By smoothing the seasonal needs between businesses VERINZ can efficiently provide services tailored to when you need the resources.
  • There is a unique opportunity to gain the strategic advances in your business using Gilbertson Associates and then gaining an insight into how the business is performing by employing Verinz in an operational capacity.
  • As VERINZ doesn’t run a standing army it is preferable that your needs are discussed well in advance so we can tailor something that will suit.
  • So if you are contemplating how to manage your QA or QC function, internal audit, compliance sampling programmes or similar give us a call to see if we can find a solution to your needs.


Roger Gilbertson

Roger Gilbertson

After graduating in the late 1980’s with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Honours), Roger has spent the last 25+ years at the forefront of New Zealand horticulture and the broader plants industry.

The first eight years was spent with the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) in the Hauraki Plains, Coromandel Peninsula and latterly Bay of Plenty, firstly in a technical/grower advisory capacity and then as a Quality Management advisor.

Quality Systems Development

Roger then moved to ENZA in Hastings where he spent six years in a variety of roles. These focused on Quality Systems Development and business process improvement. Roger and his team developed ENZAWay (ENZA’s Customer Assurance Programme) at a pivotal time when food safety, residue assurance and GAP were just beginning to make their mark in export requirements.

Assisting with all facets of exporting

In 2002 after a move to Wellington (and the deregulation of the Pipfruit Industry) Roger set up his business assisting exporters and government

agencies with all facets of exporting - from market access management, to grade assurance programmes and quality/compliance systems consulting.

Market Assurance Manager

In 2007 the call of warmer weather drew the Gilbertson family northwards to Tauranga and for Roger a demanding role as Market Assurance Manager for Zespri.

For the past four years he and his team worked in all facets of market assurance and the ‘ZESPRI System’, including dealing with a raft of technical challenges that come with exporting a product like kiwifruit.

Problem solving has gone from the extremes of pest and residue interceptions, dealing with a possible typhoid contamination and most recently the huge implications of Psa.

Consulting and Contracting

From late 2011 he has returned to the challenge and flexibility of consulting and contracting to industry and exporters. Roger’s experience gained across a wide range of sectors is again available to support the export excellence of the New Zealand Plants sector.

Roger Gilbertson
Amanda Gilbertson

Amanda Gilbertson

Amanda grew up in the beautiful Hawke Bay, living a somewhat idyllic life on an Orchard. Her family also established and developed Toptrees Nursery so she was surrounded by all things horticultural through her early years.

After flirting briefly with Law at University she found her feet - literally in fieldwork. She left Canterbury University with a double degree in Science and Psychology and Honours in Environmental Science. To fund her way she had been fortunate enough to work with the great staff of Hort+Research (now Plant and Food) during the holidays, which after graduation led onto working as a technician in the non-chemical disinfestation unit.

Entomology and Market Access issues

This was the start of a long-term interest in entomology and market access issues.

Moving back to the Bay she joined the Market Access team at ENZA and worked closely with growers, researchers’ and the Agchem Industry in the formative years of the Integrated Fruit Production (IFP) programme. Time with this team gave Amanda a thorough overview of chemical and residue issues facing the pipfruit industry.

Government Organisations

A career challenge came after three years with a move to Wellington as R & D Manager for the Pork Industry Board.

This gave her a great overview of working with government organisations and some interesting times with lots of project work in various sectors (from Temporary safeguards on importing, to antibiotic resistance, to animal welfare).

Focus on Family Matters

After Roger and Amanda travelled in late 2001, Amanda focused on family matters but

maintained part-time contract work for the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology and MAF Biosecurity (as Exec Secretary of the Plants Market Access Council).

New Challenges

The move to Tauranga in 2007 lead to new challenges and she now holds two part-times roles: one as the Biosecurity Tutor for MAF programmes at the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic and as a Regional Partner for the Ministry of Science and Innovation TechNZ programme.

Amanda Gilbertson


Market Access, Biosecurity and trade has specific areas of expertise. It is important for a business such as Gilbertson Associates to link in specific technical skill sets from time to time to assist in the delivery of projects.

Gilbertson Associates retains a network of like-minded individuals and businesses that can work collaboratively on a specific project to provide the best solution for our client.


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