News Article

Impressive line up of Excellence Awards Finalists


   Sunday 23rd August, 2020

Food & Fibre Gippsland has announced 34 finalists for the 2020 Excellence in Agribusiness Awards.

The Awards program received an outstanding 115 entries across Gippsland, an overwhelming result considering COVID-19 has been a big distraction and upheaval for many agribusinesses.

Head Judge of the Awards program Paul Ford is impressed with the quality of entrants and subsequent finalists.

“All 115 applications are worthy and the three or four candidates we have shortlisted in each category have rich and diverse stories that showcase all that’s great about Gippsland’s vibrant $7 billion food & fibre sector.”

“The judging panel’s ongoing insight and effort to select winners of each category and develop these stories is deeply valued. The end result of sharing the stories with key stakeholders is to attract talented people to develop a career in the sector, attract new investment, position Gippsland food & fibre as a priority for the three levels of government, and to mobilise new innovations across the value chain.”

The competition adopts a two-tiered approach with three premier awards, KPMG Agribusiness of the Year, Australian Rural Leadership Foundation Young Agribusiness Leader of the Year, and Leadership Victoria Female Agribusiness Leader of the Year, followed by a range of twelve awards across the entire food and fibre industry.

All finalists have the chance to win the Agribusiness of the Year award - the prize is a scholarship to attend KPMG’s 7-day Agri-Food Tech Traction Tour, valued at $15,000.

Excellence Awards Program Manager Kate Gunn is also pleased with the impressive lineup of finalists.

“This year we have managed to attract entrants from a terrific cross section of industry, size and location which is very important in promoting our region’s agribusinesses and truly celebrating Gippsland. I wish all finalists the best of luck in the next round of judging and look forward to sharing their stories in the lead up to the winners being announced”

The second round of judging will commence online this week (w/c 10 August) with the panel aiming to identify those with the strongest track record and who can present a clear strategy for the future of their agribusiness.

Food & Fibre Gippsland CEO, Nicola Pero, noted “Congratulations to all participants on the outstanding calibre of entries.
This industry recognition program grows in strength every year and Food & Fibre Gippsland, together with all the partners, are proud these awards help profile the sector, business successes and provenance of our Gippsland region.”

The winners will be announced at a high-profile industry Gala Presentation event scheduled for 20 November 2020.

Work is underway on developing on-line and/or socially distanced event options for this presentation in preparation for changes driven by COVID restrictions

Young Agribusiness Leader of the Year - sponsored by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation
- Rob Bayley (Blackwood Piggery)
- Dave Caldwell (Coonmoor Pastoral Co)
- Victoria Green (Bacchus Beef)
- Ben Murphy (Tambo Valley Honey)

Female Agribusiness Leader of the Year - sponsored by Leadership Victoria
- Victoria Green (Bacchus Beef)
- Jill Noble (The Sheep Show Podcast)
- Gabrielle Moore (Sailors Grave Brewing)
- Ferial Zekiman (Maffra Cheese Co)

Excellence in Service to the Food & Fibre Industry - sponsored by Agriculture Victoria
- Vic Silos, Maffra
- Warragul Farmers' Market, Warragul
- Xcheque, Glen Alvie

Excellence in Sustainability - sponsored by Bass Coast Shire Council
- Flavorite Tomatoes, Warragul
- Mannys Market, Morwell
- Mulgowie Farming, Maffra
- Schreurs & Sons, Clyde

Excellence in Workforce Capability - sponsored by Baw Baw Shire Council
- Greenham Gippsland, Moe
- Jaydee - Cows Create Careers, Loch
- Victoria Valley Meats, Trafalgar

Excellence in Entrepreneurship - sponsored by Commonwealth Bank
- Berry Sensation, Shady Creek
- Burra Brewing, Korumburra
- Little Bumble Wraps, Warragul
- South Gippsland Dairy, Korumburra

Excellence in Food & Drink Manufacturing (large) - sponsored by Dyers
- Greenham Gippsland, Moe
- Maffra Cheese Co, Tinamba
- ViPlus Dairy, Toora

Excellence in Fibre Industry - sponsored by East Gippsland Shire Council
- Alberton Timber, Alberton
- Forge Creek Lambs, Eagle Point
- Just Add Trees, Buln Buln
- Radial Timber, Yarram

Excellence in Research & Development - sponsored by Federation University
- Berry Sensation, Shady Creek
- Schreurs & Sons, Clyde
- Soilkee, Hallora
- South Gippsland Dairy, Korumburra

Excellence in Food & Drink Manufacturing (small) - sponsored by Latrobe City Council
- Burra Brewing, Korumburra
- Gurney's Cidery, Foster
- Sailors Grave Brewing, Orbost
- Tonemade, Inveloch

Excellence in Innovation - sponsored by National Australia Bank
- Alberton Timber, Alberton
- Berry Sensation, Shady Creek
- Gurney's Cidery, Foster
- Soilkee, Hallora South Gippsland Shire Council

Excellence in Exporting - sponsored by South Gippsland Shire Council
- Greenham Gippsland, Moe
- Hussey & Co, Newry
- Omnia, Morwell

Excellence in Collaborative Partnerships - sponsored by TAFE Gippsland
- Omnia, Morwell
- Sailors Grave Brewing, Orbost
- Snowy River Black Garlic, Jarrahmond
- Totally Renewable Phillip Island, P. Island

Excellence in Adaption to Change - sponsored by Wellington Shire Council
- Coonmoor Pastoral Co, Lindenow South
- Purely Goats Milk Soap, Nilma
- Schreurs & Sons, Clyde
- Victoria Valley Meats, Trafalgar