Nominations open for 2018 agribusiness leadership awards

Nominations open for 2018 agribusiness leadership awards

Nominations have opened for this year’s Rabobank Leadership Awards recognising outstanding individual achievement in, and contribution to, Australia and New Zealand’s food, beverage and agribusiness industries. 

The two industry accolades – the Rabobank Leadership Award and the Rabobank Emerging Leader Award – are awarded annually to an accomplished leader in the agricultural sector and an up-and-coming leader.

Last year’s Rabobank Leadership Award went to agricultural industry luminary David Crombie AM for his outstanding contribution to the food, beverage and agribusiness sectors. Now in its thirteenth year, the award is presented to 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.

The Rabobank Emerging Leader Award, introduced in 2013, acknowledges the contribution and role of up-and-coming farmers, and those in the wider agribusiness sector, who demonstrate strong leadership potential. Winner of the 2017 award was Nathan Free, managing director of Victoria’s largest organic farming operation Duralgai Horticultural.
Announcing the opening of nominations for the 2018 awards, Rabobank Australia CEO Peter Knoblanche urged those involved in the agricultural sector to nominate peers and, in doing so, recognise their leadership and positive contribution to the future growth and prosperity of the sector.

“The leadership awards are not only an opportunity to shine a light on those who already make a significant contribution to Australia and New Zealand’s food and agribusiness industries, but to foster the next generation of industry leaders who will take the sector forward in the future,” he said.

“It is widely recognised that there is a vibrant and exciting future ahead for the food and agribusiness sector in this region, with positive demand fundamentals stemming from the growing global population, changing diets, and our market proximity and access.

“However, harnessing these opportunities is not straightforward, as the marketplace is becoming increasingly complex, volatile and competitive, and as such the role of strong and dynamic leaders has never been so important.”

Mr Knoblanche said previous recipients of the Rabobank Leadership Award included Australian and New Zealand food and agri corporate leaders Sir Graeme Harrison, John Watson, Max Ould, John McLean, Nick Burton-Taylor, Robert Hill-Smith, Barry Irvin and Sir George Fistonich, as well as leading food scientists Dr Bruce Lee and Dr Jim Peacock, and Australian industry representative Mick Keogh.

Past winners of the Emerging Leader Award were fresh leaf herb producer Jan Vydra,South Australian viticulturist Zachary Caudo, ueensland beef producer Bryce Camm (from Camm Agricultural Group) and Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology CEO Georgie Aley.Nominations for this year’s awards close on August 10, 2018, with the winner to be announced at the annual Rabobank Leadership Awards dinner, to be held in Sydney on Thursday, October 11, 2018.

Nominations for both awards, together with the judging criteria, 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