The search has begun to find Aotearoa New Zealand’s most exceptional primary sector employers.
Entries have opened for the 2022 Primary Industries Good Employer Awards, which are run by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and the Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust (AGMARDT).
"The Awards provide the opportunity to recognise and celebrate outstanding employers across the primary sector that may otherwise fly under the radar," said MPI’s director of investment, skills and performance Cheyne Gillooly.
"The sector has been resilient throughout the pandemic and the hard mahi of farmers, growers and processors is leading our export-led recovery from COVID-19.
"Revenue from food and fibres exports is predicted to hit a record $50.8 billion in the year to 30 June 2022."
The primary sector employs about 367,000 people, representing almost 14% of the total workforce.
"Since the Primary Industries Good Employer Awards were launched in 2018, 9 employers – ranging from transport companies, to environmental guardians and agritech innovators – have received accolades," said Mr Gillooly.
"We're on the lookout for employers, both large and small, who go above and beyond by creating productive, safe, supportive, and healthy work environments for their people.
"Our Fit for a Better World economic roadmap sets a goal of employing 10 percent more New Zealanders in the primary sector by 2030."
Rewi Haulage, a Māori-owned log transport company based in Rangitukia north of Gisborne, took out the Māori Agribusiness Award in 2021.
"We treat our employees and drivers as whānau and we’re supporting a lot of locals to be owner-operators and have businesses of their own," said Rewi Haulage director Chubb Rewi.
"In an increasingly competitive labour market, great employers are more important than ever to help attract and keep staff in the sector, and I’d encourage people to enter."
All food and fibres sector employers and the businesses that service them are eligible to enter the Awards. Entries are now open and close at 5pm on 25 March 2022. Winners will be announced in June.
"We want the application process to be as inclusive as possible, so nominees can range from rural accountants, to veterinary practices, through to large industry bodies or small start-ups," said Mr Gillooly.
Award categories cover employee development, having a safe and healthy work environment, Māori agribusiness, and the 2 new categories of small business recognition and operating an inclusive and diverse workplace.
A supreme award is also awarded to the overall winner for being an exemplary employer. To find out more about the awards and how to enter, visit the Primary Industries Good Employer Awards page.
The objectives of the awards are to:
- recognise good employers and highlight good employment practices across all primary industries
- provide an incentive to employers in the primary industries to strive for good practice
- change perceptions about employers in the primary industries.
The awards are open to all food and fibres sector employers and the businesses that provide services to the sector.
There are 6 award categories:
- Employee Development
- Safe and Healthy Work Environment
- Māori Agribusiness
- Inclusive and Diverse Workplace Award (new 2022 award)
- Small Business Recognition Award (new 2022 award)
- The Supreme Award – presented by the Agriculture Minister.