Overnight in Shanghai, China (17 May 2018), Costa Group was announced as the winner of the Business Excellence Award for Agriculture, Food & Beverageat the prestigious 25th Annual AustCham Westpac Australia-China Business Awards.
Mr Peter McPherson, Costa Group General Manager International accepted the award on behalf of Costa and told the assembled audience of local and international dignitaries that it was a great honour to be recognised in this way with such a prestigious award.
“The footprint that Costa has established in China working together with Driscoll’s has taken a lot of hard work and most importantly this has involved a commitment to work cooperatively and harmoniously with local stakeholders, including government officials, our employees and local villagers”, said Mr McPherson.
The award recognises the agronomic practices that Costa has brought to China, including its world leading blueberry IP and substrate growing methods which has been a real game changer for the way in which not only berries are grown in China, but agriculture is conducted in general.
“Importantly the award is also recognition of how Costa has worked with all local stakeholders in helping to realise their commitment to agricultural policies and practices that improve economic development by creating jobs in agriculture, have a positive environmental impact and benefit the greater social good”, said Mr McPherson.
Mr McPherson made special mention of the great work of Costa’s local employees in working to establish three farms in Yunnan Province (to date), and their willingness to learn and apply new skills.
Costa’s investment in China is one of the largest made by a foreign-owned company in Chinese agriculture in recent years. Key factors underpinning the investment include:
- Introduction of world leading high-tech growing and management systems.
- Recognition of key national agricultural policies focusing on sustainable production and improvement in the economic and social well-being of the local population
- Strong and harmonious working relationships with local authorities
- Implementation of safe and healthy work practices.