Organic Regenerative Farmer of the Year

This award recognises a leader who has played an instrumental role in the organic community, celebrating those whose work showcases organic regenerative farming systems.

It is open to certified organic or verified kai atua food producers who are successfully leading the way to rebuild biodiversity, mitigate climate change and work in harmony with nature and the planet to provide healthy food or other organic products.

Note: judges will also take into account other practices consistent with organic production. The following are examples of relevant practices and are not requirements for entry: packaging practices, sustainable energy and resource use, advocacy for organics and other certifications such as living wage, carbon zero.  

2024 Finalists

Charlotte and Russell Heald
Russell and Charlotte Heald farm organic and regenerative dairy with their three children and farm team in Norsewood. Since their transition to regenerative farming and once-a-day milking seven years ago, the Healds have created a low-stress farming system

Logan Kerr
Established in 2014, the Streamside team have transformed a modest 1-acre plot into a thriving 50-acre organic haven. Led by Dominique and Logan, the team is passionate about delivering fresh, organic produce via weekly veggie box deliveries and farmers’ markets. Driven by a commitment to sustainability, they prioritise organic farming practices that respect the environment and promote community well-being to cultivate a healthier, more sustainable future, one harvest at a time.

Mark McCusker
Heathstock Apiaries is a second-generation beekeeping business based in Waipara Gorge. Specialising in organic Manuka Honey production, they have proudly partnered with their main landowners for over 40 years. The beehives are mainly situated on two large high country stations, MacDonald Downs and Glens of Tekoa. The team are continually in contact with these landowners and their neighbours to ensure that herbicide and pesticide treatments are not used within a 3km radius of a bee site. Heathstock Apiaries has been organically certified since 1993, currently with Asure Quality.

Vanessa Hayes
Torere Macadamias has been certified organic since 2013 and is dedicated to establishing an organic commercial macadamia nut industry in New Zealand. Founder Vanessa Hayes began her macadamia research in 1983 to find the best varieties for her own macadamia orchard development. She contributed her orchard block at Torere in 1993 to trial the best-dropping commercial macadamia nut varieties sourced from Australia and New Zealand.

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