Sustainable agriculture efforts rewarded at 2017 Telstra Business Women's Awards

Wednesday, 29 November, 2017

The managing director of Fresh Produce Alliance, Jennifer Franceschi, has been announced as the winner of the 2017 Telstra Australian Corporate and Private Award for her efforts towards sustainable agriculture.

“With a strong understanding of the generational challenges of farming in Australia, Ms Franceschi’s goal is to turn agricultural wastage into growth. She is using innovative technology to champion a sustainable agriculture. Not only is she a visionary, but she is also strongly driven by her integrity,” praised Joe Pollard, Telstra Business Women’s Awards ambassador, group executive media and chief marketing officer.

Starting with a summer job in an avocado farm in 1974 that grew into her own orchard, packing facility and processing facility, Franceschi has spent her life in the industry. In 2016, she worked alongside her husband and two other growers to open the processing facility Fresh Produce Alliance, which supports a sustainable agriculture ecosystem.

The facility uses technology such as high-pressure processing and individual quick freeze to produce naturally healthy, delicious, real food that people love. So far, this includes an avocado range and a baby food range, and Franceschi and her team are working on a low-GI range.

Pollard suggested that the Telstra Business Women’s Awards are crucial in raising the profile of women in business and recognising their achievements.

“For more than two decades, we’ve championed women from diverse industries. Women are instrumental in driving better organisational performance, increased competitive advantage and, more generally, a thriving economy,” she said. “It is our belief that the awards lift up the women they champion and, in the wider community, they can play a part in advancing gender parity in business.”

Other national winners of the 2017 Telstra Business Women’s Award include:

  • Business Woman of the Year and For Purpose and Social Enterprise Award: Violet Roumeliotis, CEO, Settlement Services International Limited (NSW)
  • Entrepreneur Award: Hana-Lia Krawchuck, Founder, Love to Dream (NSW)
  • Public Sector and Academia Award: Professor Leah Bromfield, Co-Director, The Australian Centre for Child Protection, University of South Australia (SA)
  • Young Business Women’s Award: Elise Apolloni, Managing Partner, Capital Chemist Wanniassa (ACT)
  • Business Woman in Asia Award: Saskia Groen-in’t-Woud, COO, Damco (Singapore)

If you know any outstanding businesswomen who are making significant contributions to their industry across Australia and Asia, nominate them for the 2018 awards.

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