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Nominations open for 2014 agribusiness leadership awards

Media Release May 12, 2014

Nominations open for 2014 agribusiness leadership awards

Nominations have opened for this year’s prestigious Rabobank Leadership awards – recognising the contribution of outstanding leaders in New Zealand and Australia’s food and agribusiness industries.

The annual awards, which are now in their ninth year, acknowledge the important role played by senior leaders in New Zealand and Australia’s agribusiness and agri-related industries with the Rabobank Leadership Award, which was last year won by New Zealand wine industry luminary Sir George Fistonich, the founder and owner of Villa Maria Estate.

A second award category introduced for the first time last year, the Rabobank Emerging Leader Award, recognises up-and-coming young leaders in the sector. In 2013, this award went to Australian grains industry advocate Georgie Aley, the managing director of the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council.

Both peer-nominated awards are open to nominations from among agribusiness participants, with judges seeking individuals who create sustainable growth and prosperity at both a corporate and industry level, while demonstrating a wider commitment to society.

Announcing the opening of the nominations process, Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group managing director Thos Gieskes said with the food and agribusiness sectors serving such a vitally important role in the world, it was important to encourage and recognise the work of those who served in leadership roles.

“The world faces an enormous task ahead of us in feeding a growing global population, and the food and agribusiness sectors have a crucial role to play in meeting this challenge,” he said.

“In New Zealand and Australia, this challenge also provides us with great economic opportunities, as we are in the box seat to help meet the world’s burgeoning food needs, providing that we have the right leadership in place and the strategic direction in our agri industries to take proper advantage of these opportunities.”

Judging criteria for the Rabobank Leadership Award includes:

• significant achievement as a senior leader in building, rejuvenating or expanding a business in the food, agribusiness or beverage sectors

• development and communication of a clear vision and direction for sustainable growth and prosperity at both a corporate and industry level and

• outstanding corporate citizenship and demonstrated social commitment.

Media Release May 12, 2014

Other past winners of the Rabobank Leadership Award include Bega Cheese executive chairman Barry Irvin, Australian pastoralist and company director Nick Burton-Taylor.

The Rabobank Emerging Leader Award is judged on the same criteria, but with the nominees required to have a tenure in the industry of 10 years or less.

Nominations for both awards can be made via Rabobank’s website at:, with nominations closing on Thursday, June 12, 2014.

The award winners will be announced at the annual Rabobank Leadership Dinner, to be held in Sydney in October.

Rabobank New Zealand is a part of the international Rabobank Group, the world's leading specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has more than 110 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 42 countries, servicing the needs of approximately 10 million clients worldwide through a network of more than 1600 offices and branches. Rabobank New Zealand is one of New Zealand's leading rural lenders and a significant provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to country's food and agribusiness sector. The bank has 32 branches throughout New Zealand. Rabobank also operates RaboDirect, New Zealand’s first internet-only bank specialising in savings and deposits.

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