Farmlands Darfield lauded in Environmental Awards

In a Washington DC ceremony, Farmlands Darfield has been recognised as the Corteva Asia-Pacific Ambassador of Environmental Respect.

For three decades, the Environmental Respect Awards have honoured rural retailers and distributors for their environmental stewardship. Sponsored by Corteva Agriscience, this year the global awards were broadened to include service providers, integrated producers and public agencies.

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 the 3rd October, 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 lead 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, they only had to look at its frequent on-farm Fieldays run for shareholders, the AgRecovery 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 soils rather than leaving paddocks fallowed.

 
Bill Belzer (Corteva Agrisciences), Harriet Cameron, Darryl Stretton, John Smith (Corteva Agrisciences New Zealand), Jenny Dowil (Corteva Agrisciences).


“One of the challenges Farmlands must deal with is the misinformation that surrounds agricultural issues,” says 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 Kirwee and Courtenay Agricultural and Pastoral shows, sports club days and other events to educate the community on these issues,” she says.

Harriet and Farmlands Category Manager Darryl Stretton were honoured to accept both awards in person, on behalf of the Darfield team.

The award announcement has encouraged further conversations about the co-operative’s role in promoting such practices says Farmlands Chief Executive Officer Peter Reidie.

“We are proud to play a pivotal role in the stewardship of our environment. 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,” says Peter.

“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 says.

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.

For more information on the awards, including Farmlands’ entry video, visit www.environmentalrespect.com/winners/2019-winners/farmlands-cooperative