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Creating a better future for Australian apple and pear growers,
through industry leadership and commercial advancement.

APAL Awards for Excellence 2024

Tickets available for the APAL Industry Forum and Awards for Excellence 2024 here

The APAL Awards for Excellence recognise the outstanding contributions of those who help shape our industry in their respective fields.

Since 1999, the APAL Awards for Excellence program, and its predecessors, have enabled the apple and pear industry to recognise the outstanding achievements of established and emerging growers, researchers, people and businesses working within and for our industry.

You can read about the 2023 award recipients here.

The Honour Roll of recipients from 1999 can be viewed here.

Please find below the categories for the APAL Awards for Excellence 2024:

Who is eligible for an award?

Nominations are open to anyone working in or contributing to the progress of the apple and pear industry. 

Nomination deadlines 

Nominations open on 2 January 2024 and close on 1 April 2024.

The Award recipients will be announced at the APAL Welcome Drinks on Sunday, 2 June 2024 preceding the APAL Industry Forum on Monday, 3 June 2024.

Selection Process 

All nominations are considered by the Awards Committee which includes representatives from apple and pear industry associations in each of the growing regions and APAL. The Committee’s recommendations are then considered by the APAL Board of Directors in determining the Award recipients. 

Presentation of Awards 

Award recipients are invited to the annual APAL Welcome function on Sunday, 2 June 2024 at which their award is presented, and their achievements shared and celebrated with the apple and pear industry.

The recipient of each award category is also nominated on behalf of the apple and pear industry into the Hort Connections awards that are announced each June.



Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can receive an award in the same category more than once, however your contribution needs to be significantly different to why you may have received it in the past.  


The Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded to Sue Finger at the 2023 APAL Awards for Excellence held in Melbourne



Award Categories

Open to individuals working in, or retired from, the apple/pear industry across the supply chain (previously called the Legends Roll of Honour).

  • An individual who has established excellence in the apple and pear industry in one of the following areas: growing, nursery or breeding, coolstore or packhouse, wholesale, export, consulting or agronomic advice, research development and extension, input supply, industry leadership or management.
  • Has demonstrated excellence through one of more of the following:
    • a commitment to innovation, improvement and sustainability;
    • research, development or extension identifying new opportunities for the industry;
    • the education, training or sharing of improved orchard management or processing methods across the supply chain;
    • conducting business within the industry supply chain with integrity, dedication and distinction;
    • enhancing or developing the apple and pear industry through industry advocacy;
    • providing significant volunteer contributions and demonstrated extraordinary leadership to a local, State or national representative body in service to its members; and
    • contributed a legacy for the industry’s ‘greater good’.
  • An individual who has provided motivational and inspirational leadership for the advancement of the apple and pear industry at a local community level or for the Australian apple and pear industry more generally.

Open to all apple/pear growers, orchard managers or equivalent who are:

  • who shows industry leadership, demonstrated across all aspects of production, growing, environmental management, staff management and excellence in fruit quality.
  • who is innovative, challenges convention and implements efficient practices (such as integrated pest management, minimising wastage, water conservation, precision agriculture, technology advances and value-adding to product).
  • who actively contributes to the broader industry (such as participating in international R&D Tours, Industry committees, forums, conferences, or field days).

Open to women working in the apple/pear industry across the supply chain.

A female industry member who:

  • Has demonstrated outstanding ability and success in their chosen field, whether it is growing, research and development, farm management, or otherwise.
  • Shown commitment to achieving success in the industry.
  • Has a reputation for mentoring women in horticulture.

Open to individuals in the apple/pear industry 35 years of age or less as at 1 June 2023, who:

  • Shows a keen interest in developing skills and knowledge across orchard business operations including production, growing, environmental management, business and staff management and excellence in fruit quality.
  • Demonstrates a high level of commitment to the industry and helps to educate the community, shows the willingness to learn from industry experts and works with external stakeholders to introduce a new perspective, and ideas on growing the business and promoting the industry.
  • Champions the success of the industry and shows a commitment to innovation, helping to define the next generation of growers.
  • Understands and practices sustainable practices and is committed to enhancing the industry within their area of expertise.

Open to individuals working in research for the horticulture industry with a focus on apples and pears who:

  • Has a track record of research or extension work that has advanced the industry offering long-term industry benefits
  • Actively communicates research outcomes and encourages uptake of outcomes on-farm.
  • Contributes research or extension work that advances the reputation of Australian science internationally.

Open to an individual or team from any part of the apple and pear industry value chain, including growers, packers, processors, importers and exporters, wholesalers, retailers and government agencies, who: 

  • Showed excellence in marketing apples and/or pears in domestic or international markets.
  • Created an innovative marketing campaign, solution, process or program within the last three years.
  • Created new market opportunities for pome fruit products.
  • Through marketing activities, demonstrated a significant impact on the industry with the potential for long-term positive effects through sales, awareness, reach and more.
  • Executed a marketing campaign that has delivered tangible, measurable results for the solution, process or program. 

Open to an individual or team who has demonstrated excellence in adopting environmentally friendly practices and sustainable initiatives within the apple and pear industry, who: 

  • Have made a commitment to implementing improvements to their organisation’s environmental and sustainability practices. 
  • Have championed advocacy or leadership in the environment and sustainability practices or initiatives of the broader apple and pear industry. 
  • Harnessed external initiatives or campaigns and applied them within their organisation or business.  
  • Have conceptualised strategies/ improvements or potential solutions for the apple and pear industry in the environment and sustainability landscape, intending to move to implementation in the coming 12 months. 

Open to an individual, team or business who demonstrates excellence in the promotion of apple and pears through programs and initiatives that shine a positive light on the industry, who:

  • Drive awareness and education for the apple and pear industry, its people and orchard processes and businesses across the country.
  • Have implemented programs that capture the interest of consumers and the general public and promote a better understanding of the apple/pear industries.
  • Deliver educational programs that encourage learning and upskilling with the potential to attract people to the apple and pear industry.
  • Create unique experiences for consumers to learn more about the apple/pear industries.


You can read about our 2023 award recipients here.


Tickets available for the APAL Industry Forum and Awards for Excellence 2024 here