Winners of Australia’s top Agribusiness awards announced

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 5th November 2012

The innovators of Australia’s agribusiness sector have been recognised in the National Australia Bank (NAB) Agribusiness awards for 2012 announced last week by NAB and Monash University.

The awards recognise the best contributions to the advancement of the agriculture, food, beverage and fibre sectors of Australian agribusiness.

Professor Helen Bartlett, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Monash University Gippsland, said this year’s winners showed the diversity of Australian agribusiness.

“With three new Award categories this year, we’ve seen an exciting mix of business innovation from technology to marketing, and people management to industry leadership,” Professor Bartlett said.

NAB Agribusiness general manager, Khan Horne, praised this year’s finalists, saying:

“I think this is the most exciting year we’ve had for the Awards, given the diversity of industries represented and ingenuity and business acumen demonstrated across the award categories.

“It shows how individuals and companies continue to drive the productivity, profitability and sustainability of Australian agribusiness.”

The winners in each category were as follows:

Australian Agribusiness Leader of the Year:

 Winner: David Lock, Craig Mostyn Group

David Lock is the chief of the Craig Mostyn Group, one of Australia’s largest producers in fresh pork, seafood, protein meal, cooking oils and fruit products that are sold through retail and wholesale clients. He has held that position since 2005, and during that period he condensed 18 business units into the current three units: Linley Valley Pork, Recycling and Craig Mostyn Foods.

Australian Primary Producer of the Year:

Winner: Rennylea Pastoral Company

The 5th generation family business of Bryan and Lucinda Corrigan received primary producer of the year for the Rennylea Pastoral Company, which has been in operation since 1870. The Corrigan family have been breeding Angus Beef for about forty years, and were also nominated in the Family Farm Enterprise category.

Driving Strategic Growth:

Winner:  Jonsson’s Farm Market

The 4th generation of farmers own the Jonsson’s Farm Market in Stratford, Queensland. They were recognised for their wholesale and retail outlet that sells meat and fresh produce under its motto – from paddock to plate.

Employer of Choice:

 Winner: Macquarie Agricultural Funds Management

Macquarie Agricultural Funds Management (MAFM) currently owns and operates agricultural land on behalf of investors via both managed funds and direct mandates. In total Macquarie manages more than 3.6 million hectares of land and has over $A1 billion in investments and commitments.

Currently, MAFM employs 200 Australian staff and 27 staff in Brazil. They were recognised as the Employer of Choice for their commitment to creating a work environment where “performance is rewarded.”

Environment, Energy and Climate Action:

 Winner: Yalumba Wine Company

Yalumba, one of Australia’s oldest family-owned wineries, were awarded for their holistic approach to environmental practices, focussing on the sustainability of Australian natural resources. After six generations of family ownership, Yalumba say that the environmental future is “as important to them as the present.”

Export Award:

Winner:  Nolan Meats Pty Ltd

Gympie-based Nolan Meats had previously won exporter of the year at the Premier of Queensland 2011 export awards. Nolan Meats were the first to adopt the Australian Export Meat Inspection System (AEMIS) which enhances food safety, and has been widely adopted by various other processors around the world.

Australian Family Farm Enterprise:

 Winner: Eastfield Pty Ltd

The Eastfield Pty Ltd family farm in Cressy, Tasmania was founded by first generation creator Frank Bond.  Eastfield Pty Ltd was recognised for its integration of livestock and crops through intensive irrigation. Originally 160 ha property, the Bond family from Cressy have continued to expand their farm and now have strong relationships with many processors and supermarkets.

Innovation in New and Emerging Industries:

Winner: Bridestowe Estate

The Bridestowe Lavendar Estate in Nabowla, Tasmania, were awarded for their new technologies in accelerating plant growth and encouraging plant longevity. According to Bridestowe Estate, unlike European plantations, pesticides and fungicides are not applied. They actively retain 40 hectares of native and cultivated forest around the farm to ensure abundant bird life and hence low insect pressures.

Technology and Innovation:

 Winner: Pfizer Animal Health

Pfizer was responsible for the research and development behind the recently announced vaccine for Hendra virus in horses. NAB agribusiness awarded Pfizer Animal Health the Technology and Innovation award. Pfizer Animal Health managed to develop the vaccine two years ahead of schedule, and in developing a close relationship with the CSIRO was able to bring it to the market quickly.