New announcement. Learn more


New managing director brings fresh leadership approach to CRV

New managing director brings fresh leadership approach to CRV

CRV Ambreed’s new managing director James Smallwood has an open-door approach to leadership, with plans to get out in the field with staff and invite farmers to connect with him one-on-one. 

In its 50-year history, Smallwood is only CRV’s fourth managing director. He says he is focussed on working with the CRV team to continue offering industry-leading innovations and great products to the company’s farmer customers.

“We want to deliver our products and services to farmers in a way they value and love, so that their businesses benefit - whether that’s through increased production, healthier cows or technology to help them farm better.

“I’m looking forward to helping CRV realise its true potential as one of New Zealand’s leading genetics companies.

“CRV is more than just an animal breeding business. Over the years, it has invested in technology and research such as LowN Sires® and herd recording software, myHERD – innovations that are changing the way our farmers approach their herd improvement to ensure they can keep farming sustainably.

“A lot of CRV’s success to date is the result of the passionate staff that work here, which is evident in the strong relationships our team has with our farmer customers.

“I can see that the CRV team truly values the reputation it has amongst farmers as a trustworthy partner who listens and understands their farming business. It’s crucial our customers know they can rely on us to work with them to achieve their herd improvement goals, using genetics and data.

“As the newest member of the CRV’s team, I’m looking forward to getting out in the field, supporting our team and finding out what matters most to our farmer customers.” 

Smallwood brings with him over thirty years’ experience and a passion for agribusiness, having worked around the world in a variety of leadership positions, which have given him a deep understanding of the primary industries.

Smallwood’s most recent role was based in Melbourne as general manager Australia and New Zealand of ABS Australia (part of global company Genus PLC), providing animal breeding supplies and services to the Australian and New Zealand dairy and beef industries.

Under his leadership, the company recaptured its number one market share position in both beef and dairy, after the successful development and implementation of a business rebuilding strategy.

Smallwood was born and bred on a small dairy farm in the Wairarapa.  He and his wife have expanded this to a 550-cow operation over the past twenty years. They have also recently developed a dairy beef unit in partnership with their long standing sharemilkers.

CRV’s new managing director also has a variety of experience in primary industry engagement, as the Director of entities including DataGene, Ovita Limited, and has completed the Fonterra Governance Development programme. He has chaired several boards and committees both in the industry and in the wider Wairarapa community.

Smallwood commenced his role as Managing Director with CRV in August, following the appointment of Angus Haslett as CEO of CRV Ambreed’s Dutch parent company, CRV.

​CRV Ambreed’s​ new managing director James Smallwood