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Search is on for NZ's best employers

The search is on to find New Zealand's most exceptional primary sector employers in a competition run by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and the Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust (AGMARDT).

Entries have opened for the 2022 Primary Industries Good Employer Awards and an East Coast company featured last year.

“The Awards provide the opportunity to recognise and celebrate outstanding employers across the primary sector that may otherwise fly under the radar,” said MPI's director of investment, skills and performance Cheyne Gillooly.

“The sector has been resilient throughout the pandemic and the hard mahi of farmers, growers and processors is leading our export-led recovery from Covid-19.”

“Revenue from food and fibre exports is predicted to hit a record $50.8 billion in the year to 30 June 2022.”

The primary sector employs 367,000 people, representing almost 14 percent of the total workforce.

“Since the Primary Industries Good Employer Awards were launched in 2018, nine employers — ranging from transport companies, to environmental guardians and agritech innovators — have received accolades,” Mr Gillooly said.

“We're on the lookout for employers, both large and small, who go above and beyond by creating productive, safe, supportive, and healthy work environments for their people.

“Our Fit for a Better World economic roadmap sets a goal of employing 10 percent more New Zealanders in the primary sector by 2030.”

Rewi Haulage, a Māori-owned log transport company based in Rangitukia north of Gisborne, took out the Māori Agribusiness Award in 2021.

“We treat our employees and drivers as whānau and we're supporting a lot of locals to be owner-operators and have businesses of their own,” said Rewi Haulage director Chubb Rewi.

“In an increasingly competitive labour market, great employers are more important than ever to help attract and keep staff in the sector, and I'd encourage people to enter.”

All food and fibre sector employers and the businesses that service them are eligible to enter the awards.

Entries are now open and close at 5pm on March 25.

Winners will be announced in June.