Rachel Mackenzie, the Chief Advocate for Queensland horticulture’s peak industry body Growcom, has received the Women in Horticulture Award at the Hort Connections 2018 National Awards for Excellence on Wednesday 20 June 2018.
As a member of Growcom’s team for more than a decade, Rachel has been responsible for developing policy and advocating on behalf of Queensland’s fruit, vegetable and nut growers. She has campaigned on a range of key issues affecting the horticulture industry on a state and national level, including labour hire, competition and consumer issues, biosecurity, rural development, natural resource management and more recently, promoting ethical employment practices in Australian horticulture.
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The Women in Horticulture award recognises a leading female member of the Australian horticulture industry who has demonstrated outstanding ability and success in her chosen field. The award is proudly supported by leading vegetable seedling producer, Boomaroo Nurseries.
“Rachel’s passion and commitment to the Australian horticulture industry is both inspiring and influential. She is one of the leading advocates for the industry and provides a much-needed voice to all growers of horticulture so their concerns are heard and addressed by key decision makers,” said AUSVEG Deputy Chair Belinda Adams.
One of Rachel’s recent achievements includes pioneering the Fair Farms Initiative, which Growcom introduced to support ethical employment practices in the Australian horticulture industry. This program was an industry-first initiative and has been well-received by growers who are committed to treating their workers fairly while they are employed on horticultural farms and pack houses.
“Rachel was one of 10 strong contenders for the Women in Horticulture award in 2018. There are so many passionate, dedicated women who are responsible for a range of roles throughout the industry, and this award recognises the key role that women play in ensuring Australian horticulture continues to be a strong contributor to the country’s agricultural sector,” said Mrs Adams.
“Our growers are in safe hands knowing that Rachel is campaigning both behind the scenes and within the halls of parliament to ensure their issues remain front of mind and are ultimately resolved. She always has growers’ best interests at heart and we are confident she will continue to contribute to real and effective change that will help to secure the industry’s future.”
Hort Connections 2018 is the premiere event for the Australian horticulture industry and attracted nearly 3,000 local and international delegates to Brisbane from 18-20 June. The National Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner was the capstone event of the conference and honoured growers and Australian horticulture industry members for their outstanding achievements.
Image: Rachel Mackenzie with Steve Winter from Boomaroo Nurseries.