Herb marketer and NZ meat champ win Rabo leadership titles

by admin on July 14th, 2018

filed under 南京夜网

Rabobank leadership award winner, founder and chairman of New Zealand integrated farming, food processing and retail business ANZCO, Sir Graeme Harrison.One of New Zealand’s biggest names in meat processing and exporting has taken out the 2016 Rabobank Leadership Award, inrecognition ofhis contribution to the food, beverage and agribusiness sectors.
Nanjing Night Net

Sir Graeme Harrison is founder and chairman of ANZCO Foods – a company he established as a sheepmeat marketer in 1984 when working in Japan as deputy chief executive officer of the former NZ Meat Producers Board.

In 1995 he led a management buyout of ANZCO, which since 2001 has been jointly owned by Japanese food companies Itoham Foods and Nippon Suisan, as well as directors and management.

He collected the coveted trans-Tasman award at Rabobank’s annual leadership dinner in Sydney last night where Victorian herb farming executive Jan Vydra won the emerging leader title.

Mr Vydra is a co-founder and chief executive officer of hydroponic herb grower and distributor Australian Fresh Leaf Herbs, based at Croydon in Melbourne’s eastern fringe.

Established eight years ago, Fresh Leaf now has 85 staff producing up to180,000 bunches of 17 different herbs weekly for major retailers, green grocers and the hospitality sector.

Rabobank emerging leader title winner, large-scale herb producer, Jan Vydra, from Victoria.

It is the second year in a row a New Zealander has claimed the main Rabobank leadership trophy, with NAZCO’s Sir Graeme following in the footsteps of former Fonterra chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden.

The meat sector pioneer and keen marathon runner, was described as a “true champion of agribusiness” who had made an enormous contribution as a NZ business leader, and in the international meat trade.

Presenting the award, Rabobank Australia and NZ group managing director, Peter Knoblanche, said Graeme Harrison built a company from nothing to one now enjoying $NZ1.5 billion annual turnover and employing more than 3000 people at home and in eight other countries.

ANZCO sells sheepmeat and beef into more than 80 countries, having opened NZ’s sheep and beef industry door into Asia.

It is NZ’s fifth largest export business also operating farms, beef and sheep abattoirs, the country’s largest cattle feedlot, food manufacturing plants, retail outlets and an innovation centre.

Sir Graeme was managing director of ANZCO for 20 years before becoming chairman in 2004.

“What makes all this even more outstanding is he has achieved it in a period which has been notoriously challenging for the meat sector NZ,” said Mr Knoblanche.

ANZCO formed in the wake of widespread deregulation in the national economy and farm sector, including virtual overnight removal of subsidies to sheep producers.

The national flock declined to half its 1984 numbers, but ANZCO expanded its meat processing and marketing business, expanding into Asia outside its traditional focus in the UK and US.

“Graeme has been inspirational in providing strong leadership over a long period,” Mr Knoblanche said.

“He formed a company which performs consistently in both returns and market behaviour.

“He has contributed to industry good throughout his lifetime’s work, including recently personally funding a professorial chair at Lincoln University in global food value chains and international trade.”

Originally from a farming family on the South Island’s Canterbury region, he started in the meat industry in 1973.

He has a Doctorate in Commerce from Lincoln University, where he is now an adjunct professor and council member, and he holds a Master of Arts (Honours) from University of Canterbury.

The peer-nominated and judged Rabobank Leadership Award is presented to individuals who create sustainable growth and prosperity at a corporate and agricultural industry level, and demonstrate wider commitment to society.

Mr Knoblanche said Sir Graeme was a “natural entrepreneur and passionate advocate for NZ agribusiness, championing the potential of the country’s agricultural, forestry and seafood industries at every opportunity”.

“He sees enormous potential in agribusiness,” he said.

He is chairman of NZ’s International Business Forum and a director of one of the southern hemisphere’s largest seafood companies, Sealord – a Maori joint venture with Nippon Suisan.

His past roles have included directorships with NZ China Council, Westland Milk Products, Meat and Wool NZ, NZ Meat Board and the NZ Lamb Company consortium in North America.

He was knighted for services to agriculture in 2011 and last year recognised for his role in strengthening economic relations between Japan and NZ with a Japanese government Order of the Rising Sun.

Sir Graeme said agribusiness made an enormous contribution to NZ’s economic wellbeing.

The country’s competitive advantage lay with the land, and agrifoods accounts for more than 70 per cent of its merchandise trade.

“If you work it back to GDP, effectively one in four dollars is generated from the land-based sector in one form or another,” he said.

He credited trust as being at the centre of good leadership.

Meanwhile, 34-year-old emerging leadership winner, Mr Vydra was recognised for playing a formidable role in changing his business and the industry

“This is really a tribute to his focus on sustainability, innovation and technology,” Mr Knoblanche said.

“Jan doesn’t do things the way they have always been done – he challenges the status quo, taking an integrated approach to the supply chain and adopting cloud technology in his new state-of-the-art greenhouse.”

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