Farmlands’ Darfield Lauded At Environmental Awards

24.10.2019

In a Washington DC ceremony, attended by two Farmlands’ representatives, Farmlands’ Darfield has been recognised  as the Corteva Asia-Pacific Ambassador of Environmental Respect. Sponsored by Corteva Agriscience, the global awards were broadened this year to include service providers, integrated producers and public agencies. ERA is the agricultural industry’s premier stewardship programme honouring outstanding work in preserving the environment through safe, responsible business practices. Since 1990, ERA has honoured crop protection retailers and distributors for their demonstrated environmental stewardship. Farming and land management practices can impact soil, air, water, and biodiversity for the better or worse. ERA seeks to recognise outstanding efforts to enhance and preserve the environment.
Farmlands’ Darfield store took out the Country Champion honour in August, before being named as one of three Asia-Pacific winners for their achievements in best practice – alongside organisations from India and China. In doing so, they beat national winners from Australia, Korea and Japan.  On October 3rd, Farmlands’ Darfield was named the Asia-Pacific Ambassador of Environmental Respect, a top honour bestowed on only four organisations who had made it through the selection process.
For Darfield locals, this award will come as no surprise as the store is a local community hub. It is led by Business Manager Rod Oliver and ably supported by four Technical Field Officers: Paul Cooper, Luc Rodwell, Nick Jenkins and Emily Redmond. The store services 971 local farmers and supporting rural operations.

As part of the entry process, Farmlands’ Darfield had to show how they help farmers and land managers to improve environmental performance in their systems. For evidence, judges only had to look at the Darfield store’s frequent on-farm Field-days run for shareholders, the Ag-Recovery unit which helps shareholders safely recycle their chemical containers, and their encouragement of different winter crops, such as oats, to absorb excess nitrogen in the soil, rather than leaving paddocks fallow.

“One of the challenges Farmlands must deal with is the misinformation that surrounds agricultural issues,” said Farmlands Sales Manager for Canterbury, Harriet Cameron.
“For Farmlands, this award has given us the opportunity to take a step back and look at how we are currently performing. This will give us a platform to continually improve on in the future.

“Our Technical Field Officers and branch staff help to educate the local community and reduce their concerns by providing technical advice. Our local team attends all community events, including Courtenay Agricultural and Pastoral Show, sports’ club days and other events to educate the community on these issues,” she said.
Harriet, along with Farmlands Category Manager Darryl Stretton were honoured to accept both awards in person, in Washington, on behalf of the Darfield team.

“For Farmlands, respect is about working in partnership with the environment, people, and communities to leave our country in a better place for the next generation,” Farmlands Chief Executive Officer Peter Reidie commented.
“Locally, our Darfield team is thrilled to be recognised for their role in shaping the future of agriculture in their community. It validates their hard work and commitment to our shareholders,” he said.
As part of the forum, Harriet and Darryl attended the American Senate to discuss key global agricultural challenges, group think sessions and Chesapeake Farm, a Corteva-owned operation that integrates the latest environmental practices. A highlight included Darryl speaking on New Zealand’s success via AgRecovery’s recycling of chemical containers.