The prestigious trans-Tasman Rabobank Leadership Awards – recognising outstanding leadership in the food and agricultural sector – are to be held in New Zealand this year, for the first time in the awards’ history.
The two industry accolades – the Rabobank Leadership Award and the Rabobank Emerging Leader Award – are peer-nominated and awarded annually to an accomplished leader in the agricultural sector and an up-and-coming leader.
Announcing the opening of nominations for the 2019 awards, Rabobank New Zealand chief executive Todd Charteris said this year’s presentation ceremony will be held in Auckland on November 28.
“It’s fitting the awards are being held in New Zealand this year given the vital role agriculture plays in the New Zealand economy and the huge contribution New Zealand makes to the global agricultural sector,” he said.
“More needs to be done to highlight how influential New Zealand agriculture is on the world stage and it’s fantastic to have the awards in New Zealand this year to showcase this contribution and to recognise the efforts of our agricultural leaders who work
tirelessly to ensure the sector continues to punch above its weight.”
Charteris said it was also appropriate New Zealand will host this year’s awards given New Zealanders featured prominently among the list of winners of the flagship Rabobank Leadership Award.
“Since the inception of the awards some of the biggest names in New Zealand agribusiness have been recognised for their leadership in the sector including Villa Maria founder Sir George Fistonich, former Fonterra chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden and ANZCO founder Sir Graeme Harrison,” he said.
“These leaders have played hugely significant roles in developing the New Zealand agricultural sector both domestically and internationally and the contribution they’ve made to their own industries, the agricultural sector in general, and their communities is
nothing short of inspirational,” he said.
Charteris said in the 20 years Rabobank has been involved in the awards, previous winners have come from the wine, dairy, beef, grains and horticulture sectors, and also include scientists, economists, educators and researchers.
Charteris encouraged industry participants to put forward those in their industry who are making a positive contribution to the future growth and prosperity of the sector.
“Strong innovative leaders are needed if the global food and agribusiness sector is to reach its potential. And with huge demands being placed on the sector to do more with less, it’s essential that we are recognising and celebrating the efforts of those driving the industry forward so that it is better equipped to meet this challenge,” he said.
“There are many agricultural sector leaders who fly under the radar and these awards not only bring their business successes to the forefront, but also unearth the range of other activities these leaders are involved in at a community and industry level,” he said.
Charteris said he was especially hoping for a strong contingent of New Zealand entrants in the Rabobank Emerging Leader category.
“The Emerging Leader award was first presented in 2013 and, to date, all of the winners have been Australian-based. New Zealand has a number of fantastic young people achieving great things in the agricultural sector and it would be brilliant to see one of these up-and-coming New Zealand-based leaders take out this award for the first time.
In particular, I’d encourage those involved in the agricultural sector to nominate up and coming agricultural leaders for this award,” he said.
Previous recipients of the Rabobank Leadership Award include: New Zealand and Australian company and industry organisation heads David
Crombie, Sir Graeme Harrison, Mick Keogh, Barry Irvin, Sir George Fistonich, Sir Henry van der Heyden, John Watson, Max Ould, John McLean, Nick Burton-Taylor, Robert Hill-Smith and Jim Geltch, and food and agricultural scientists Dr Bruce Lee and Dr Jim Peacock.
The Emerging Leader Award has gone to organic producer Nathan Free, fresh leaf herb producer Jan Vydra, viticulturist Zachary Caudo, beef producer Bryce Camm, industry executive Georgie Aley and Australian Agricultural Company COO Anna Speer.
Award nominations close on August 9, 2019 with the winner to be announced at the annual Leadership Awards dinner, to be held in Auckland on Thursday, November 28, 2019.
The judging panel for the awards is made up of previous Rabobank Leadership and Emerging Leader award recipients.
Nominations for both awards can be made at https://www.rabobank.co.nz/leadershipawards.