New Grochem appointments

Aug. 8, 2023 | 5 Min read
Two sales professionals with a wealth of experience in horticulture have joined crop protection supplier, Grochem Australia as it strengthens its team for further growth.

Two sales professionals with a wealth of experience in horticulture have joined crop protection supplier, Grochem Australia as it strengthens its team for further growth.

In welcome news for customers, Grochem has appointed Darren Free as the company’s first national sales manager while Melanie Turner is returning to Grochem as marketing manager and sales manager for Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

The two will provide much-needed support to horticultural growers across the country as well as assisting Grochem general manager Ben Coombe, in the next phase of the company’s development.

Darren Free.

Mr Free is well known among growers and resellers after 30 years in the horticulture industry.

He began his career as a flower grower before he worked for several small horticultural suppliers, mainly in sales and technical support roles.

During 12 years at Seasol International, he led the company’s sales team as national commercial sales manager.

As head of Seasol’s international business, Mr Free took the company’s products onto the global stage, developing export market strategies, which means Seasol products are now sold in retail and commercial outlets in 15 countries around the world.

More recently, he has applied his broad knowledge of horticulture to advise smaller suppliers and fulfilled a lifelong dream to grow stud sheep and lambs at his property at Nagambie in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley.

“It’s been good to roll up my sleeves at home, but I am delighted to be joining Grochem and reconnecting with many familiar faces and meeting new people in horticulture,” he said.

Meanwhile, Grochem customers in Western Australia are delighted to see Melanie Turner back after a four-year break running a scuba diving business in Perth and sharing her passion for the sport with others.

Melanie Turner.

She is pleased to be returning to Grochem and re-establishing links with customers in the west and Northern Territory.

“The welcome I have received from customers is humbling and it is exciting to be joining Grochem to develop new links as the horticulture industry continues to expand in WA and the Territory,” she said.

Ms Turner said there was plenty of scope for Grochem to grow in the west, with expanding areas of avocados, vegetables and wine grapes in the south, along with stone and pome fruit in the hills, citrus north of Perth and table grapes in the Swan Valley.

“Carnarvon is another exciting region for horticulture, while Kununurra and the Ord are also important because of access to irrigation,” she said.

“The Northern Territory offers other opportunities too, with tropical fruits like mangoes and a variety of vegetables and melons there well suited to Grochem’s product range.”

Beyond her field sales responsibilities, Ms Turner is also looking forward to supporting Mr Coombe as national marketing manager for Grochem.

Mr Coombe welcomed Grochem’s two latest recruits.

“Darren and Melanie are seasoned professionals who have a wealth of knowledge and experience to bring to our customers and Grochem as we step up and equip the business for continuing growth,” he said.

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