Macadamias Australia and Farm Fresh Fine Foods have been named the Hinkler Innovation Series 2022 award winner at the annual breakfast event.
The Hinkler Innovation Series award celebrates the changemakers who are leading the way for Australian innovation, and the spirit and legacy of Bert Hinkler by recognising an Australian whose pioneering attitude has contributed both locally and globally to innovation and entrepreneurship.
Macadamias Australia and Farm Fresh Fine Foods have been recognised as leaders in the field for the significant contribution to innovation and entrepreneurship, both locally and globally.
In winning this year’s Hinkler Innovation Series, Macadamias Australia and Farm Fresh Fine Foods scored high in the selection criteria that aligned with Bert Hinkler’s legacy.
They were recognised for their spirit of innovation through their tourism and culinary expansions, the focus given to international markets, the commitment to the Bundaberg Region, leadership with family-based values and the endurance of six decades of business.
Director Janelle Gerry said in the more than 60 years of operation, the local team had become a vertically integrated business that comprised of Macadamias Australia, which was a grower, processor, value-add, agritourism and café, along with Farm Fresh Fine Foods, which was a vegetable processing facility.
“We are really excited, privileged and honoured to be receiving this award,” she said.
“For over 60 years we have always embraced the pioneering spirit, always challenging the status quo. Innovation has always been part of our family and part of our team.
“Bundaberg is such an innovative centre.
“Really, I feel that we are just one of the many, many businesses that innovate, do exciting things, create employment.
“Businesses are like-minded like ourselves that just love our community and are very passionate about what we do – I feel very privileged to be awarded (here) today.”
Janelle also shared the experience of the local family business with the audience at the annual awards.
“It was wonderful to see so many local businesses attend this morning – I think for me it is particularly exciting to see so many students, because they are our entrepreneurs and business owners of the future,” she said.
“We have our visions set for the next five to 10 years, and our business will continue to grow.
“We are on an accelerated growth path at the moment, and we have got some exciting plans for the future – I don’t think we are a business that would sit still for too long, so we have some exciting plans ahead.”
Mayor Jack Dempsey congratulated the team for winning this year’s prestigious award at the annual Hinkler Innovation Series.
“This year’s winners, Macadamias Australia has 60 years of family commitment to innovation, technology, entrepreneurship, but they have also ensured the standard of their business is a great opportunity for others to look at and share that information, so the rest of the region can expand,” he said.
“We are so thankful and grateful of Macadamias Australia, and also for the many other families and businesses that have contributed right across the Bundaberg Region.”
Last year's winner: RipeGlobal takes out Hinkler Innovation Series award