Call for nominations for 2017 agribusiness leadership awards
skip to content1
We are experiencing some issues with the Rabobank Online Savings mobile app which means it is unavailable for some Apple users.

Call for 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 Australia and New Zealand’s food, beverage and agribusiness industries.

The two prestigious 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 Australian or New Zealand agriculture 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.

The Rabobank Emerging Leader Award, 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 Australia & New Zealand Group managing director Peter Knoblanche called on those in agribusiness and agri-related industries to nominate individuals who have made, or have the potential to make, a significant contribution to the sector.

“The Rabobank Leadership Awards provide a rare opportunity for those in agribusiness to acknowledge and celebrate their peers, who they see as playing an instrumental role in the future growth and prosperity of the sector,” Mr Knoblanche said.

“Never has good leadership in Australia and New Zealand’s food, beverage and agribusiness industries been so important, with the world’s population to hit close to 10 billion by 2050, and most of that growth set to come from those on our geographic doorstep in the rapidly-developing Asian region.”

Mr Knoblanche said while the ag sector sat poised at the threshold of an unprecedented opportunity for growth, “good leaders – and particularly those who are innovative and have vision – will be vital in identifying and harnessing these opportunities”.

“The past recipients, over the 12 years this award has been in existence, are all inspiring food and agribusiness industry professionals as drivers of change, courageous in decision-making and possessing a true entrepreneurial spirit.”

Previous recipients of the Rabobank Leadership Award include former chair of Fonterra Sir Henry van der Heyden, Australian Farm Institute head Mick Keogh, Villa Maria Estate founder Sir George Fistonich, Bega Cheese executive chairman Barry Irvin and Australian pastoralist and company director Nick Burton-Taylor.

Those who have taken out the Emerging Leader Award include 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

Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group is a part of the global Rabobank Group, the world’s leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has nearly 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 approximately 8.6 million clients worldwide through a network of more than 1000 offices and branches. Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group is one of Australasia’s leading agricultural lenders and a significant provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to the region’s food and agribusiness sector. The bank has 94 branches throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Media contacts:

Denise Shaw
Head of Media Relations
Rabobank Australia & New Zealand 
Phone: 02 8115 2744 or 0439 603 525 

Skye Ward
Media Relations Manager
Rabobank Australia
Phone: 02 4855 1111 or 0418 216 103