Would-be weka farmer wins Agri-Personality of Year

June 26, 2010

Roger Beattie is the Federated Farmers’  2010 Agri-Personality of the Year.

 Roger Beattie is an eco-anarchist combining conservation with business acumen. Roger is passionate about endangered species, but believes commercial farming is a better model for long term survival. His interview on Close-Up with DoC’s Al Morrison of the status quo versus farming weka, saw 83 percent of viewers side with Roger.  Roger has also rescued a flock of wild Pitt Island sheep with a plan to selling them as a gourmet food product.  His latest victory against bureaucracy is the commercialisation of Undaria – an invasive Japanese kelp used in soups and salads overseas.  After a ten year fight he finally got the greenlight to start an industry that, in five years could be worth $10 million a year.   Roger is also the force behind Eyris Blue Pearls – Paua Pearls – exported around the world. 

The Agri Business Person of the Year is Graeme Harrison, founder and chair of ANZCO Foods.

Graeme created ANZCO foods in Japan in 1984, returning to New Zealand nine years later to lead the company’s subsequent growth. Today, ANZCO has annual sales of more than $1.2 billion and employs 2,800 people on 11 production sites within New Zealand and has sales and marketing offices in Japan, Taiwan, North America, the UK and Belgium. Graeme’s vision for the future has been key in ensuring ANZCO’s past and future success and this is evident in the company’s ongoing focus in increasing investment in downstream manufacturing. This includes food solutions, pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals and food flavourings.  Right through the process of ANZCO’s growth as a company, Graeme has shown leadership, vision and innovation and this has ensured that the business has been extremely successful.

This is the second year Federated Farmers has run the Cream of the Crop awards which Feds president Don Nicolson said gives the organisation the opportunity to celebrate how good farmers are.

The awards were sponsored by Ravensdown whose chair Bill McLeod was one of the judges.

 Other judges were Invercargill Mayor, Tim Shadbolt, farming and All Blacks legend, Sir Brian Lochore, Cathy Quinn, the Auckland based chair of law firm, Minter Ellison Rudd Watts and 2010 Veuve Clicquot businesswoman of the year and Southland netball coach, Robyn Broughton.


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