Patrick Watene

Managing Director

James Finlay Guizhou, China (JFG)

Patrick joined Finlays in 2017 having spent the previous year bringing together the strategy for Finlays new leaf sourcing and tea manufacturing project in China. Patrick has a huge passion in seeking to transform agricultural industries and improving the well-being and prosperity of small holder farmers. Equally as comfortable in the boardroom, Patrick enjoys working with farmers and agricultural enterprises, and by understanding their needs and aspirations, seeks to build enduring long-term partnerships.

Patrick is a proud Kiwi – passionate about family and rugby. Other than a short ten year sojourn as an officer in the New Zealand army, during which he graduated from the Australian Defence Force Academy and Royal Military College of Australia, Patrick has spent most of his life on and around farms and forestry.

Patrick has more than 15 years of CEO experience, much of this leading large agri-sector projects in China. He has an extensive background in smart-tech and innovation in agriculture. Patrick has a BSc. from University of New South Wales, Australia with a double major in Computer Science and Geography. He also has an MBA from Waikato University, New Zealand. Patrick began studies towards his PhD in New Zealand in 2003 being fully sponsored by ZESPRI International (world’s largest kiwifruit marketing company), before suspending this when he moved to China in 2004. In 2007 Patrick received an appointment as a Visiting International Professor at North West Agriculture and Forestry University, Shaanxi China – the second largest tier one agriculture university in China outside of Beijing Agricultural University.