At the biennial Cawthron Marlborough Environment Awards, Pernod Ricard Winemakers took out the Wine Industry’s top award. Tessa Nicholson looks at why the judges were so impressed with the company’s environmental ethos.
The event, which honours the winners of the 2015 Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA), culminates with the naming of the national winner and the presentation of the esteemed Gordon Stephenson trophy. The showcase is due to be held on June 24 in Parliament's Banquet Hall.
New Zealand Farm Environment Trust general manager David Natzke says having the event in Wellington provides the rural community with a chance to celebrate its successes in front of an audience that includes some of the nation's top decision-makers.
"It's very important that we take every opportunity to show politicians and our friends in the urban community what farmers are trying to achieve in terms of sustainability."
The Sustainability Showcase is the highlight of the BFEA programme, and this year's event will wrap up another successful year for the awards.
"We've had ten outstanding award ceremonies around the country and seen some amazing farming talent. Now we bring the cream of the crop together to applaud their achievements and choose a new ambassador for New Zealand agriculture."
Natzke says the winners appreciate the opportunity to socialise in the two to three days leading up to the Showcase, and the event provides them with the ideal forum to share their philosophies and discuss some of the common factors behind their successes.
"They enjoy being able to present their farming operations to the other Supreme winners and hearing about what other Supreme winners are doing on their farms. They also get the chance to meet other leaders from all walks of the industry."
About 300 guests are expected at the event, including farm and agribusiness leaders, Government officials and representatives from a range of environmental agencies.
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy will present the Gordon Stephenson trophy.
Another popular feature of the Sustainability Showcase is the inspiring DVD presentations on all winning farms. These videos have been posted on New Zealand Farm Environment Trust's website at www.bfea.org.nz under the 'Great Farming Stories' tab.
This year's Supreme winners are:
Waikato - Frans, Tineke and Talbert de Jong and Emily Meese
Bay of Plenty - John and Catherine Ford
Northland - Rachel and Greig Alexander
Taranaki - Mark and Jacqui Muller and Conrad Maeke
East Coast - Alastair, Tracy and Daniel Ormond
Greater Wellington - Leo and Rebecca Vollebregt
Horizons - Willie Akers, Hugh and Judy Akers and Laura Oughton
Canterbury - Richard and Annabelle Subtil
Otago - Dave and Janene Divers
Southland - Robert and Anna Kempthorne