Our Specialists

Peter Yates | Managing Director

Well versed in the intricacies of the fertiliser industry and its many facets, Peter started working in the area back in 1981.

After spending four years working in the animal health industry in both New Zealand and Australia, Peter turned his focus to fertiliser and spent 17 years working in management positions for the likes of Hoechst NZ and BASF NZ.

Harnessing his array of experience, from sales and marketing to shipping and logistics, Peter then set up Agri NZ Ltd in 1997 and began importing and wholesaling specialist granulated and technical-grade fertilisers to NZ.

Instrumental in spearheading the formation of Fertmark Quality Standard and its ultimate adoption by mainstream fertiliser industry, Peter was also a horticultural pioneer of fertigation in NZ grapes. Always driven to find solutions that maximise land from an ethical standpoint, when Peter founded Viable Agriculture in 2013, it became the basis of the business.

Now responsible for procurement of appropriate fertilisers and the overall wellbeing of the business and its staff, Peter also takes pride in giving ethically sound advice to customers and provides them with the most appropriate solutions on a daily basis.

Ian Ferguson | South Island Territory Manager

Growing up on a South Westland farm, Ian was drawn to agriculture from an early age. After completing the Diploma of Agriculture at Lincoln in 1980, Ian worked in Western Australia, Europe, Africa and the UK where he gained the Batchelors Degree of Crop Technology and Resource Management from the Royal Agricultural College. In 1995, he moved back to NZ.

Since then, Ian has worked in agronomy and been responsible for the production and management of a wide range of vegetable seed crops, as well as fresh and processed vegetables. In recent years, his work has extended to agronomy in the production of grazed pasture and winter forage, which has led him to embrace a focus on crop nutrition and Nutrient Use Efficiency.

With 20+ years’ experience working in Canterbury and beyond, Ian brings his acute understanding of the sustainability issues facing NZ’s agricultural industry to Viable Agriculture.

Motivated by the constant challenge of maintaining economic and environmental sustainability in primary production, Ian takes care of sales, logistics and distribution, while also providing the relevant technical support to growers and merchants, including soil testing, tissue analysis and fertiliser recommendations.