Hydroponic tomato empire Flavorite was crowned the Gippsland Agribusiness of the Year on Friday.
Around 200 people at the inaugural Food & Fibre Gippsland Excellence in Agribusiness Awards Gala Dinner heard how the Nichols and Millis families have revolutionised the tomato business in Australia.
Their investment in glasshouse technology has taken the business from a cottage industry to a major supermarket supplier and one of the top four players in the country in its category.
Currently employing 350 staff and growing, Flavorite has plans for expansion into other products.
As well the prestigious title, Flavorite was awarded a scholarship valued at $15,000 to attend KPMG'S Agri-Food Tech Traction Tour, a 7-day international immersion in leading agri-food locations.
Daniel Johnson from Johnson Poultry was named Young Agribusiness Leader of the Year, recognising his efforts in establishing the first broiler farm in the Wellington and Latrobe region, that is now potentially one of the leading poultry farms in Australia - and the only one owned by someone under 45.
Daniel is 32 years old and in the eight years prior to launching Johnson Poultry, he worked and travelled the globe to gain insights, adopt and adapt technology to create what is now a world-leading operation that holds a significant contract with Inghams.
Others to win awards at the inaugural event were:
- Excellence in Service to the Food & Fibre Industry: Full Circle Nutrition
- Excellence in Workforce Capability: Mulgowie Farming Co.
- Excellence in Exporting: ViPlus Dairy
- Excellence in Research and Development: Macalister Demonstration Farm
- Excellence in Food Manufacturing: Patties Foods
- Excellence in Innovation: Hussey & Co
- Excellence in Sustainability: Blackwood Piggery
- Excellence in Adaption to Change: Soilkee