A record number of nominees have been nominated for the National Awards for Excellence – the Australian horticulture industry’s most prestigious recognition – with 95 growers, marketers, businesses, researchers and industry representatives nominated in 9 award categories, including the highly-coveted Syngenta Grower of the Year and PMA – Produce Plus Marketer of the Year awards.

The Awards will be announced on Wednesday 9 June at the National Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner, the capstone event for Hort Connections 2021. The Awards highlight the accomplishments of the industry’s leaders and are an opportunity for the wider industry to celebrate the best and brightest in their field. They cover a range of areas in horticulture, including recognising outstanding growers and marketers in multiple categories, as well as researchers, innovative agribusinesses and the industry’s leading exporters.

Nominations have been received from industry members from around Australia and from across the horticulture sector. Award winners are chosen by an independent panel of growers and industry stalwarts from across the supply chain.

“All nominees for the different award categories have demonstrated their commitment to the Australian horticulture industry and have made a valuable contribution to its ongoing growth and success,” said Hort Connections spokesperson Nathan McIntyre.

“They are all deserving nominees who have been recognised by their peers and colleagues for their achievements. Given the high calibre and diversity of the awards’ nominees, it will certainly be tough to pick a winner in each category.

“To be nominated for an award at Hort Connections is a great honour, and I would like to congratulate each nominee and wish them the best of luck. I would also like to thank those who nominated their peers and colleagues for an award in recognition of their hard work and dedication to the industry.”

A joint initiative between AUSVEG and the Produce Marketing Association Australia-New Zealand (PMA A-NZ), Hort Connections 2021 is the premiere event for the horticulture industry, encompassing the vegetable, fruit, cut floral and nursery sectors.

The conference, which will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from 7-9 June, will cater to all members of the horticulture industry, from primary producers to retailers and the entire supply chain. It is an opportunity for growers and industry members to come together in one central location to build their knowledge and networks, and find new ways to improve the productivity and profitability of their farms and secure the future of the industry.

The Hort Connections team is working with people on-the-ground at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre and in the wider Brisbane community to ensure the experience for delegates is safe and enjoyable. For more information or to register for the event, please visit hortconnections.com.au.

Registrations are still open and those who are interested in attending can also register in person at the event. For more information or to register, please visit hortconnections.com.au.

Nominees for the 2021 National Awards for Excellence:

Syngenta Grower of the Year

  • Adam Schreurs (VIC)
  • Andrew and David Moon (QLD)
  • Andrew, Colin & Paul Gazzola (VIC)
  • Anthony De Ieso (SA)
  • Boundary Bend Ltd (VIC)
  • Carl Walker (QLD)
  • Carl Young (VIC)
  • Catherine Velisha (VIC)
  • Daniel Ying (WA)
  • Deborah Corrigan (VIC)
  • Doug Nicol (SA)
  • Gerard & Susie Daly (TAS)
  • Howard Hansen (TAS)
  • Marlon Motlop (SA)
  • Mia Rose (WA)
  • Monika Fiebig (SA)
  • Neil Armstrong (TAS)
  • Paul Priest (VIC)

MOYA Marketer of the Year Award – sponsored by Seeka

  • Anna Tu from Hort Innovation for the ‘Australian Cherries Brand’ campaign
  • Buy West Eat Best Marketing Team for the ‘Good choice, WA’ campaign
  • Fresh Markets Australia for the ‘A better choice!’ – Shop & Win campaign
  • Luke Couch from Nutrafruit for the ‘No Ordinary Plum’ campaign
  • The LPG Cutri Fruit Global Team for the ‘Saturn Peach by Galaxy Fruits’ campaign

PMA A-NZ Tech Innovation Award – sponsored by UPL Australia

  • CHEP with the EVO Crate
  • HTM Complete with Farm in One
  • Rivulis Irrigation with Rivulis Innovation
  • The Yield with Sensing+
  • Montague Fresh with its automated cool store facility

Corteva Agriscience Young Grower of the Year

  • Anthony De Ieso (SA)
  • Caitlin Radford (TAS)
  • Christina Kelman (NSW)
  • Jake Ryan (WA)
  • Jake Shadbolt (VIC)
  • Jason Dobra (WA)
  • Kane Busch (VIC)
  • Marlon Motlop (SA)
  • Matthew Griggs (TAS)
  • Mitchell East (WA)
  • Renee Pye (SA)
  • Samuel Spirli (VIC)
  • Vanstone Produce (QLD)
  • Xavier Toohey (VIC)

Bayer Researcher of the Year Award

  • Andrew Robson (NSW)
  • Brian Thistleton (NT)
  • Elia Pirtle (VIC)
  • Greg Baker (SA)
  • Jenny Ekman (NSW)
  • Marcel Veens (QLD)
  • Professor Neena Mitter (QLD)
  • Simon Newett (QLD)
  • Robert Spooner-Hart (NSW)
  • Shannon Mulholland (NSW)

Butler Market Gardens Environmental Award

  • Adam Schreurs (VIC)
  • Andrew Smith (TAS)
  • Centrefarm (NT)
  • Dr Robert Spooner-Hart (NSW)
  • Mark & Darren Todaro – Todaro Farms (VIC)
  • NAP Food Cluster – Barrie Lloyd (SA)
  • Noel Jansz (VIC)
  • Omni Group (Tim Salisbury) (VIC)
  • The Yield (Ros Harvey) (NSW)

Visy Industry Impact Award

  • Adam Schreurs (VIC)
  • Andrew Robson (NSW)
  • Carl Walker (QLD)
  • Jack Milbank (QLD)
  • Jon Ferguson (NSW)
  • Kobie Keenan (NSW)
  • Loose Leaf Lettuce Company (WA)
  • My Berries (QLD)
  • Omni Group (VIC)
  • Shannon Mulholland (NSW)
  • Thomas Panna (VIC)

Boomaroo Nurseries Women in Horticulture Award

  • Bree Grima (QLD)
  • Catherine Velisha (VIC)
  • Hannah McArdle (SA)
  • Jo Van Niekerk (VIC)
  • Kobie Keenan (NSW)
  • Maria Colangelo (VIC)
  • Nicole Stevens (SA)
  • Professor Neena Mitter (QLD)
  • Sandra Ceravolo (SA)
  • Sue Jenkins (QLD)
  • Tayla Field (QLD)

E.E. Muir & Sons Community Stewardship Award

  • Adam Schreurs (VIC)
  • Agsafe (ACT)
  • Andrew Smith (TAS)
  • Catherine Velisha (VIC)
  • Karen Thomas (VIC)
  • NAP Food Cluster – Barrie Lloyd (SA)

Hort Innovation Exporter of the Year Award

  • Chris Musolino (SA)
  • Chris Schreurs (VIC)
  • Daniel Ying (WA)
  • Jeremy Haw (VIC)
  • Jim Ertler (TAS)
  • Jim Trandos (WA)
  • Kees Versteeg (QLD)
  • Patrick Fox (WA)
  • Steven Moffatt (QLD

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MEDIA CONTACT: Shaun Lindhe, AUSVEG National Manager – Communications
Phone: 03 9882 0277, Mobile: 0405 977 789, Email: shaun.lindhe@ausveg.com.au