After nearly a week of fun, education, and celebration, the Environmental Respect Awards Celebration Week ended with the delivering of the trophies and the naming of the Ambassadors of Respect honorees.
Four recipients were selected to receive the special honor, one from each of the four regions of the world. The Asia-Pacific winner was Farmlands Cooperative-Darfield which hales from New Zealand. The Europe/Middle East/Africa honoree is Kut-San Agricultural Marketing, which calls Turkey home. Brazil-based Frisia Coopertiva Agrioindustrial was named the ambassador from Latin America. The North American winner was Valley Agronomics, Pocatello, ID.
Founded in 1962, Farmlands Cooperative is 100% owned by it’s 70,000 New Zealand farmers. The country of less than 5 million produces enough food for roughly 44 million people says Darryl Stretton,
“It’s a great honor to have one this award,” Stretton says. “It’s highly coveted. We’ve got a mandate to pursue environmental excellence and sustainability. To be recognized for that we are thrilled.
One of the challenges the company must deal with is the misinformation and sometimes hysteria) that surrounds agricultural issues. The company uses its technical field officers at its more than 80 branches to support and educate the local community and reduce these concerns through providing free technical advice and information, says Harriet Cameron, Sales Manager – Canterbury.
The Darfield office attends community events, including Kirwee and Courtenay Agricultural and Pastoral shows, rugby club days, and other events to educate the community on these issues. The staff all live locally and have a high level of community engagement through schools and sports clubs, Cameron says.
Winning the award is not an end to its commitment to sustainability. Instead it’s another beginning.
“The journey does not finish here with winning this award,” Stretton says. “We will only continue in pursuit of excellence.”
Kut-San Agricultural Marketing
Cem Tolga Korkut was honored to be named the Ambassador of Respect from the Europe/Middle East/Africa region. Through his Corteva representative Harun Toksoz, who acted as his interpreter, Korkut said, he’s very happy to be hear and thanks Corteva for environmental initiative and that it has been celebrating environmental respect for nearly 30 years.
“He’s wants to be part of this great team and he’s grateful to meet all the people, and he’s grateful to hear all the stories from companies around the world,” Toksoz says.
Kut-San is located near the Kızılırmak Delta Bird Paradise, a site which Korkut is committed to protection. The sanctuary, based in the province of Samsun, is entered on the UNESCO World Heritage Centre’s tentative list. The organization notes that the Kızılırmak Delta is home to 561 plant species, 352 bird species, and 29 fish species.
Among the environmental initiatives the company focuses on include the prevention of erosion and nitrogen leeching. The company also works to prevent counterfeit products from entering the market.
“From now on, we will be a role model for Corteva Turkey as an ambassador in terms of environmental respect and stewardship,” Korkut said through Toksoz.
Frisia Cooperativa Agroindustrial
Frísia Cooperativa Agroindustrial’s commitment to sustainable practice is motivated by a desire to support its community, cooperatives, and collaborators, says Nelson Adriano Rocha, Agronomist. The goal is to promote the preservation of the environment while demonstrating the company’s commitment to society and encouraging responsible production.
“Frisia Cooperative is an important partner for us in Brazil,” said Deborah Costa, Corteva Representative, Brazil.
Winning the Ambassador of Respect award “is a very big deal,” Costa said on behalf of Rocha. The company has been working toward the honor for several years. One of the reasons the Frisia Cooperative received the honor was because of it’s “Seeds of Good” program through which the company hires people with special needs to work at the organization.
“It’s beautiful to see the testimonies of the families about how Frisia is helping them integrate into society,” Costa says.
The final Ambassador of Respect award went to Valley Agronomics. Learn more about their story here.