Oravida's global management team is based in Auckland, Shanghai, Beijing and Tianjin. We are passionate, energetic and focused on the tastes and flavours of food and drink.
We adhere to the highest standards of food safety, quality and nutritional value and are committed to introducing our customers to healthier food for a healthier life.
Dame Jenny is a former Prime Minister of New Zealand and Chairman of APEC in 1999. She is Chairman of Genesis Energy and having served as an independent director for China Construction Bank for 6 years is now the Chairman of China Construction Bank New Zealand.
Dame Jenny is also an Executive Board Member of the New Zealand China Council, a Privy Councillor and was appointed Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit by the Queen for her services to the New Zealand Parliament in 2002.
Dame Shipley is a patron of a number of organisations and is involved in a range of philanthropic projects in New Zealand and offshore.
Stone Shi founded Oravida in 2011 to connect producers of New Zealand's finest food with discerning consumers and households in China. Stone is a passionate advocate for the country's premium produce and our natural way of life.
Oravida was founded on the principle of "Healthier Food, Healthier Life". Just as Stone once said, " I want my friends, families back in China and ordinary Chinese people to enjoy the delicious, healthy food that I have the privilege to enjoy in New Zealand.”
Julia is responsible for Oravida's day-to-day operations in China and New Zealand, as well as leading the company's product development and overall business strategy.
Growing up in Shanghai, China, Julia moved to New York as a teenager to continue her education. After graduating from Cornell University with a Biology degree, she worked briefly in the medical research field before starting a career in investment banking.
Julia's interest in the economies and markets of Asia saw her taking up positions in Hong Kong and Tokyo. With opportunities in China continuing to grow, she completed an MBA before returning to Shanghai in 2009.
Later that year, Julia made her first visit to New Zealand. Hugely impressed with the quality of local produce, she saw the potential to match suppliers with China's rapidly growing consumer markets. She took the opportunity to co-found Oravida with visionary Mr Stone Shi the following year.
Since then, Julia has been responsible for building Oravida's approach of marketing premium products direct to niche consumers in China. She also has an interest in the growth of e-commerce and its potential to open up new and lucrative markets for New Zealand produce.
Julia currently spreads her time between Shanghai and Auckland, and tries to see as much New Zealand as much as she can by visiting her suppliers around the country.
“When I was growing up in Shanghai, milk was a luxury. Drinking New Zealand milk wasn't even conceivable. Now, there's a generation of Chinese parents that can offer their children fresh milk from New Zealand. That's a massive change and it's exciting to be a part of it.”
Jim Blackwell is the CEO of Oravida.
Jim retired as the Commander of the NZ Defence Force (NZDF) Special Operations Component in Jul 2015 having completed 31 years of military service. Jim was made an Officer of the NZ Order of Merit (ONZM) in 2002 and has seen operational service in Angola, Bougainville, Kuwait, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Jim is a graduate of the Military Command and Staff College and has completed numerous military and civilian professional development courses which include the Asia Pacific Centre for Strategic Studies, the Strategic Leadership Programme for Chief Executives and the Institute of Director's residential programme. He holds a Post Grad in Strategic and Defence studies from Massey University and a Master of Science from the University of Leicester.
Since leaving the NZDF Jim travelled in Asia for a year and assumed his appointment as the CEO of Oravida in Jul 2016. Jim holds numerous directorships and has extensive leadership and management experience. He is a people person and enjoys developing and maintaining mutually beneficial business relationships.
Eric is widely recognised as a veteran of the New Zealand seafood industry with more than 35 years of experience to his name. For 16 years Eric was Managing Director of Sanford Limited, where he was responsible for operations in New Zealand as well as its subsidiaries across the Asia-Pacific region. He also played a pioneering role in building strong environmental standards and sustainable practices into Sanford's commercial operations.
In the 1980s, Eric represented the seafood industry during the introduction of New Zealand Quota Management System. His lifelong commitment to sustainable business has seen him appointed to numerous industry bodies, including the NZ Fishing Industry Association, International Coalition of Fisheries Associations, Seafood Industry Council of New Zealand and is currently a Board Member of UK based Marine Stewardship Council.
In 2013 Eric joined Oravida as a Director, where his interests are no longer limited to seafood. In China, Eric sees huge potential for New Zealand to reorient a number of its primary markets toward high end consumers who demand and can afford world class primary produce.