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Prestigious trans-Tasman agribusiness awards head to New Zealand for first time

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 anaccomplished leader in the agricultural sector and an up-and-coming leader.

Announcing the opening of nominations for the 2019 awards, Rabobank New Zealand CEO 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.”

Mr 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.

Mr Charteris said in the 20 years Rabobank have 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.

Mr 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.

Mr 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/



Rabobank New Zealand is a part of the global Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has more than 120 years’ experience providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of food and agribusiness. Rabobank is structured as a cooperative and operates in 40 countries, servicing the needs of about 10 million clients worldwide through a network of close to 1000 offices and branches. Rabobank New Zealand is one of the country's leading agricultural lenders and a significant provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to the New Zealand food and agribusiness sector. The bank has 32 offices throughout New Zealand.

Media contacts:

David Johnston
Media Relations Manager
Rabobank New Zealand
Phone: 04 819 2711 or 027 477 8153
Email: david.johnston@rabobank.com

Denise Shaw
Head of Media Relations 
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand 
Phone: +612 8115 2744 or +61 2 439 603 525 
Email: denise.shaw@rabobank.com