The recognition of women in horticulture is often more than that, it is acknowledgement of the role women can play in industry to mentor and guide the next generation of growers. Angela Candeloro is one such individual.


The Boomaroo Nurseries Women in Horticulture Award recognises a leading female member of the Australian horticulture industry who has demonstrated outstanding ability and success in her chosen field. Third generation market gardener Angela Candeloro has been named as the winner of the 2023 award in recognition of her contribution as a role model and mentor for young people in the industry.

Angela grew up on her parents’ market garden, F&M Candeloro, ultimately taking over the business. The operation became Tripod Farmers in 1989. Today, Tripod Farmers grows vegetables, primarily leafy greens, on 1000 acres across Western Melbourne and Gippsland in Victoria. Angela’s role in the business grew from being very hands on in the early days to managing the quality assurance and harvest teams, and she now serves as a Director and together with her sister Carmel, oversees all areas of the business.

“My grandfather was a market gardener in Werribee, and my parents moved to Bacchus Marsh in the 1960s, so I have virtually lived on the farm all my life, working from a young age,” says Angela.

“My sister and I had big expectations put on us at a young age, there was never any doubt that we were not capable of doing all aspects of the farm work. We resented it at the time – we would rather be on holiday with our friends in the summer.

“That upbringing has given me the resilience and strength to keep trying and persevere when things get a bit tough.”

Angela credits that attitude with her ability to help young growers who may need some encouragement, support or mentoring. Quite often says Angela that young women who come from a background where women are not empowered, that encouragement to try and have a meaningful part of the business enables them to gain confidence and grow.

“I can empathise with people new to farming and trying to learn a new skill, I have had to learn those tasks as well, so I know how daunting it can be. With practice and encouragement it does get easier to do those tasks.”

Angela was humbled that her peers in the industry consider her a mentor but feels quite privileged to be a position to help train people new to the industry.

As the recipient of the award, Angela is deeply grateful.

“This award is more than just me. My sister Carmel, my sons and nephew all work here on the farm, and all those that work here, it is really for them. Without them, I would not be here, doing what I love.

“It is important that you love what you do and be passionate. Horticulture is a great industry to be in, we are offering great healthy food, it gives you a good feeling that you are doing something great for the population.

“For someone coming into the industry, if you have the passion, you can do anything. I see it every day, when a girl – or guy works hard, they can do just about anything.  It is important to stay focused and be prepared to work hard.”

This article appeared in Australian Grower magazine Summer 2023

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