Horticulture New Zealand people capability manager Emma Boase was recognised as an Emerging Leader at the 2021 Primary Industries New Zealand Awards in Christchurch this week.
One of seven winners from a pool of 65 nominations, Boase took out the Emerging Leaders award for her efforts in attracting new talent to the horticulture sector.
The award was testament to Boase's outstanding leadership and ongoing commitment to championing careers for the sector, Horticulture NZ said.
Boase supported and coordinated the nationwide network of GoHort Career Progression Managers (CPM).
This initiative was successful in working with employers, workers, potential employees and students, to attract more New Zealanders into long-term horticultural work.
It was "incredibly rewarding" to be part of people embarking on a possibly lifelong career, Boase said in a statement.
It was a privilege for her leadership to be recognised among so many high-calibre candidates, she said.
"This award is a tribute to the team who supported me along the way."
While the horticulture industry had always strived to create innovative solutions to meet seasonal and long-term labour needs, the GoHort CPM initiative had been a crucial part of the industry's succession planning, Boase said.
Listen to Jamie Mackay interview Emma Boase on The Country below:
"For young people to be attracted to, and continue to grow in our industry, we need to do our utmost to support them."
"Our CPM network works hard to create pathways and shift perceptions. We have placed more than 5000 New Zealanders into training or employment across New Zealand, and attracted more and more youth into lasting, permanent careers.
The Career Progression Managers' efforts were about promoting the bright future that horticulture offered, shaping young leaders, and ensuring there was awareness of the diverse career options on offer, Boase said.
The industry was full of inspiring young leaders like Boase, Horticulture New Zealand chief executive, Nadine Tunley said.
New Zealand's horticulture sector had many rewarding careers across the supply chain, including at executive level, in processing, or contributing to seasonal harvests, Tunley said.
"Horticulture has a place for everyone. Attracting talent - the leaders, the innovators, the pragmatists and big thinkers - will be fundamental for fostering industry growth at a time where New Zealanders need more jobs, and healthy, affordable food, more than ever.
"Our youth are our future, a future that the horticulture sector is embracing."