Call for New Zealand nominations for 2017 agribusiness leadership awards
Nominations are being sought for the 2017 Rabobank Leadership Awards, recognising outstanding leadership among both accomplished and up-and-coming leaders in New Zealand and Australia’s food, beverage and agribusiness industries.
The two peer-nominated annual awards – the Rabobank Leadership Award and the Rabobank Emerging Leader Award – are among the industry’s most highly-regarded accolades, acknowledging the critical contribution of good leadership to
the success of the food and agribusiness sector.
The Rabobank Leadership Award is presented to an individual who has built an expansive career in management and leadership in New Zealand or
Australian agribusiness and has, as a senior executive, led sustained growth and commercial success while demonstrating
a wider commitment to the broader community. In 2016, this award was presented to New Zealand meat industry pioneer Sir
Graeme Harrison, founder and chair of one of New Zealand’s largest exporters, ANZCO.
Other previous New Zealand recipients of the award, which has been running for the past 12 years, include former chair
of Fonterra Sir Henry van der Heyden and Villa Maria Estate founder Sir George Fistonich.
The Rabobank Emerging Leader Award, which was introduced in 2013, recognises the contribution and role of up-and-coming farmers and those in the wider
agribusiness sector who demonstrate strong leadership potential. Last year, this award went to Jan Vydra, entrepreneur
and co-founder of one of Australia’s leading fresh herb operations, Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs.
Announcing the opening of nominations for the 2017 awards, Rabobank New Zealand CEO Daryl Johnson called for New
Zealanders involved in agriculture and agribusiness industries to nominate individuals who have made, or are making, a
significant contribution to the sector as leaders or emerging leaders of the future.
“Agriculture and agribusiness are major contributors to New Zealand’s economy and way of life, and form such an
important part of our export economy. These awards provide a rare opportunity to recognise the individuals who have
played and are playing an instrumental role in the growth and prosperity of this very important sector, both now and
into the future,” he said.
Mr Johnson said while the country’s agriculture sector was well placed to “capitalise on a period of unprecedented
opportunity for future growth on international markets, with growing global demand for food and fibre, good industry
leadership will be vital in identifying and harnessing these opportunities. In particular, leaders who are innovative
and have vision.” Media release June 20, 2017
Mr Johnson said past recipients of the awards had all been inspiring food and agribusiness industry professionals, who
were “drivers of change, courageous in decision-making and possessing a true entrepreneurial spirit”.
Mr Johnson in particular issued a challenge for New Zealand nominations for the Rabobank Emerging Leader Award, with a
New Zealander yet to take out this award category.
“We have such an amazing pool of emerging talent in our farming and agribusiness sector and it would be nice to see a
strong field of New Zealand nominees and for a New Zealander to take out this award,” he said.
Other previous recipients of the Emerging Leader Award have been Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology CEO
Georgie Aley, Darling Downs beef producer and director of the Australian Lot Feeders Association Bryce Camm and South
Australian viticulturist Zachary Caudo.
Nominations for this year’s awards close on July 12, 2017, with the winner to be announced at the annual Rabobank
Leadership Awards dinner, to be held in Melbourne on Thursday, October 12, 2017.
Nominations for both awards can be made on the Rabobank Leadership Awards website at www.rabobankleadershipawards.com