Nominations open for the 2016 Rabobank Leadership Awards

Sir Henry van der Hayden last year's winner of the Rabobank Leadership award.

Nominations have opened for the 2016 Rabobank Leadership Awards, recognising the contribution of senior and emerging leaders in the success of New Zealand and Australia’s food and agribusiness industries.

The peer-nominated trans-Tasman awards – now in their eleventh year – include the flagship Rabobank Leadership Award, which was last year won by New Zealand business leader Sir Henry van der Heyden, the former chair of global dairy giant Fonterra.

The award is presented annually to an individual in a senior leadership role in the food, beverage and agribusiness sector who has created sustainable growth and prosperity at both corporate and industry level, while also demonstrating a wider commitment to society.

Sir Henry was recognised for his role in guiding and driving the evolution of New Zealand’s dairy industry over the past two decades and as a key player in the creation of Fonterra.

Other past recipients of the award include founder and owner of New Zealand’s Villa Maria Estate Sir George Fistonich.

A second award category, now in its fourth year, the Emerging Leader Award recognises up-and-coming young leaders in the sector.

Last year’s winner of the Emerging Leader Award was 29-year-old viticulturist Zachary Caudo, from South Australia’s Riverland. Brand and development director of Caudo Vineyards, Caudo was recognised for the instrumental role he has played not only in transforming his family business, but in helping to cement the Riverland region as a premier tourism destination.

The winner of this year’s Emerging Leader Award will receive a prize of an international educational farm visit to a country relevant to their agricultural sector, as well as business mentoring sessions with the senior industry leader who receives the 2016 Rabobank Leadership Award.

Thos Gieskes, Rabobank New Zealand and Australia Group managing director.
Thos Gieskes, Rabobank New Zealand and Australia Group managing director.

Announcing the opening of nominations for the 2016 awards, managing director of the Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group Thos Gieskes called on those in New Zealand’s agriculture and the food and agribusiness industries to nominate individuals they believed worthy of recognition of their leadership and achievement in the sector.

“As well as the very great contribution we see from leaders at the senior end of the agri sector, it is also important to acknowledge and foster the young up-and-coming leaders. Because without their vision, innovation and dedication, the sector will not realise its enormous potential for the future,” he said.

2015 Rabobank Leadership Award winner Sir Henry van der Heyden agrees, saying it is important to develop the culture of leadership in the food and agribusiness sector and its industries to ensure businesses are robust and sustainable for the long term.

“Developing a culture of leadership means understanding the challenges and opportunities and establishing a clear vision for the future and sharing that vision with other so they will follow willingly,” he says. “And translating that vision into a business strategy and plan that will deliver change and future growth.”

Judging criteria for the Rabobank Leadership Award include:

  • significant achievement as a senior leader in building, rejuvenating or expanding a business in the food, agribusiness or beverage sectors;
  • developed and communicated a clear vision and direction for sustainable growth and prosperity at both a corporate and industry level and;
  • regarded as a good corporate citizen and demonstrates social commitment.

Nominees for the Rabobank Emerging Leader Award need to have:

  • an industry tenure of 10 years or less and
  • demonstrated a significant contribution to the food, beverage and agribusiness sector in New Zealand or Australia.

Nominations for both awards can be made on the Rabobank Leadership Awards website at: https://www.rabobankleadershipawards.com/nominations/

Award nominations close on July 31, 2016, with the winner to be announced at the annual Rabobank Leadership Award dinner, to be held in Sydney on Thursday, October 6, 2016.

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