With our agricultural industry’s animal welfare practices coming under increasing scrutiny, Vetora Bay of Plenty’s new chief executive says helping farmers look after the health and well-being of their animals is more important than ever.
Andrew Reid will take over the reins at Vetora BOP veterinary club in August. He has dedicated his career to agriculture, spending nearly 30 years working in agribusiness in the greater Rotorua and BOP areas. Born and bred on a dairy farm in Whakatane, he has always called ‘the Bay’ home.
Based in Rotorua, Andrew has worked at both grassroots and senior management level, most recently as BOP regional leader for industry good organisation, DairyNZ. He understands business, and he understands farming.
“Animals are at the heart of New Zealand’s food production. But how we care for them is coming under the spotlight more than ever,” he says.
“One of our biggest challenges is making sure we continue to be global leaders in animal care, and tell our story to non-farming communities and to our customers around the world. Maintaining our license to operate depends on it.”
Andrew believes vets play a key role in the success of New Zealand’s agricultural industry, and not just in terms of animal health and productivity.
“Vets are regarded by the farming community as trusted advisors and partners. The nature of their work means many go above and beyond to support their farming clients in ways that are not always recognised. You can’t put a price on the value that delivers to farmers and their businesses.”
Attracting and retaining both large and companion animal vets has been an ongoing issue for the industry, but one Andrew believes presents an opportunity for Vetora BOP.
“Vetora BOP has a legacy of caring for animals, families and farmers that dates back more than 75 years. At its heart are sound values focussing on community and people.
“My vision is for our team to share the Vetora BOP story more widely, inspire others and be an employer of choice. I look forward to attracting new talent to the business, but also making our existing team feel proud to be part of the Vetora family.”
The majority of Vetora BOP’s practice caters to large animals and the farming sector, with 15 practicing vets. But the club also continues to grow its companion animal business, with more than 9 vets servicing clients with domestic pets.
“I’m a pet owner myself and I know what an important part of the family they are. Having a vet you can trust, who knows you and your pet, gives you peace of mind, particularly when it comes to sickness or injury.”
Vetora BOP chair Karen Forlong says Andrew’s leadership experience and passion for agriculture made him the right fit from the start.
“Andrew has a long history in the agricultural sector and he understands the challenges and opportunities our farmer members tackle every day. Farming is in his blood and he has contributed to the sector his entire working life.
“Andrew’s authentic leadership style reflects his passion for people. He is in tune with others and committed to giving them the tools and support they need to do their job well.
“Andrew’s references were exemplary and his reputation precedes him. We are very proud to welcome him to our club.”
Vetora Bay of Plenty is a not-for-profit farmer-owned vet club, with five veterinary clinics in the Bay of Plenty region – Rotorua, Ngongotaha, Reporoa, Taupo and Galatea. The club provides veterinary services to both large and companion animal clients. It has a sister-club in Vetora Waikato with whom it has a strategic alliance and works with in partnership.