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Foodstuffs South Island CEO steps down after 20 years

Foodstuffs South Island CEO Steve Anderson is stepping down after 20 years in the role, ending a career with the grocery company which began as a Four Square delivery boy in Dunedin. 

During the second half of his tenure, Anderson took the co-operative parent of the Pak N Save and New World supermarket banners from a $1.2 billion turnover to more than $3.3 billion last year. 

Russell McKenzie, chairman of Foodstuffs South Island, has paid tribute to Anderson’s leadership. 

“Across all aspects of the business Anderson has driven growth and development. Market share has significantly increased with the cooperative delivering consistent growth over the years and a number of critical projects have contributed to this success including the roll out of SAP 11 years ago and the launch of New World’s Clubcard in 2014 which has enabled the business to use data to meet customers’ grocery needs more accurately.”

Anderson cited several other projects that stand out for him during his tenure, including the completion of an expanded distribution centre at Hornby in 2015.

“At the time it was the largest supermarket distribution centre in the country and the purpose-built building was not only designed to bring efficiencies to the business in terms of supply chain but to be leading edge in terms of design and ability to withstand the earthquakes Canterbury is now well known for,” he said. “From a state-of-the-art picking module to storage systems constructed to deal with the forces generated by seismic events and specially developed post-tensioned concrete flooring, the building was carefully designed to behave predictably during earthquake events.”

The earthquakes – in September 2010 and the following February – required the Foodstuffs team to pull together as never before, putting in long hours to ensure the company kept to its commitment to ‘Feed the South’.

“The team’s response to the Canterbury earthquakes, and more recently our response to Covid-19, has shown that no matter what curveballs mother nature throws at us, Foodstuffs South Island is in great shape to deliver on our promises to our customers,” said Anderson. “Making sure our communities are supported and have access to a reliable supply of products on shelf is our number one priority and the long hours people have worked to ensure this occurred during the earthquakes, recent Covid-19 lockdowns and alert level changes is something I am extremely grateful for. Without their personal sacrifices we would not be able to ensure New Zealanders have access to the everyday essentials they need.”

Anderson took over leading the company in 2001 after five years as GM of sales at Mainland Products. 

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