The Nursery and Garden Industry Association of Australia (NGIA) held the 2014 NGIA National Conference last week in Sydney.

Industry Awards were announced at the gala dinner held on 13 March 2014. There are several Award categories acknowledging excellence in Production Nurseries and Garden Centres, as well as other individual and special category awards.

The major Award and the last one awarded was the Best Large Production Nursery. Alpine Nurseries Alstonville had previously won the NSW award in this category but faced high quality competition for the National Award from finalists from other States, Warner’s Nurseries and Speciality Trees in Victoria and Domus Nusery in West Australia. The decision-making process is exhaustive. The process involves a comprehensive written entry over a broad range of criteria which is judged independently and is given 20% weight in the overall award. The remaining 80% is based on a physical inspection of all finalist nurseries.

The judges for the nursery inspection phase were Peter and Carol Fraser who are very experienced nursery owners from New Zealand.

The Managing Director of Alpine Nurseries, Peter Knox, accepted the Award in company with the Manager of Alpine Alstonville, Bruce Wilson and Alstonville Production Manager Ben Habershon. Peter said  “what makes us successful is the quality of our people and the way we work together. Our culture sets us apart and I am sure this was the distinguishing feature in our favour. There are around 30 team members at Alpine Alstonville and they are a great team. This Award is a tribute to their hard work and the relentless pursuit of excellence every day by all our people.” Peter also noted that Alpine Alstonville has a great customer at Alpine Nurseries Dural in Sydney and is very much part of the overall team which includes the third Alpine nursery location, Impact Grasses in Brisbane.

Peter went on to say that “the property at Alpine Nurseries Alstonville started life as a potato farm and has been developed as a high quality nursery progressively over the last 10 years. There has been no compromise in embedding quality into the design and construction of the nursery facilities under Manager Bruce Wilson. While Bruce has led the building of a fantastic nursery he has also been instrumental in building the culture that makes the nursery efficient, cohesive and a fun workplace. This has been our major achievement and this Award is a tribute to the skill and hard work by all team members.”