Victorian farmer, tech entrepreneur and Grown Not Flown cofounder Nikki Davey has won the 2023 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award for her work creating a digital platform and app that connects flower farmers and consumers around the world.
The award recognises the critical role women play in rural and regional businesses, industries and communities.
Based at Glenmore in the Rowsley Valley near Bacchus Marsh, one of Victoria’s largest food bowls, the self-described ‘eternal hobbyist’ was motivated by her own experience as a new flower farmer, to resolve the common problems and pain points experienced by growers through technology.
Grown Not Flown started out as a passion project during Covid, then morphed into an online platform and app connecting flower farmers and consumers, globally. It now has more than 1,100 flower farms listed on its global map, and users in over 30 different countries.
The award is supported by Westpac Agribusiness, and Davey has won a $20,000 Westpac grant on top of the $15,000 she won as the state winner in the national finals.
“This is a huge honour and I am immensely grateful to AgriFutures and Westpac for believing in my vision to promote and raise awareness around flower miles, slow flowers and supporting local farmers. We have so many exciting plans and this Award will be an absolute game changer for us and what we can achieve in the next 12 months,” she said.
“We can invest this money into further developing the platform to reach new audiences. We also want to educate and encourage consumers to celebrate the provenance of flowers, the same way we do with food, and raise awareness around flower miles, slow flowers and benefits of supporting local businesses.”
AgriFutures Australia managing director John Harvey praised Davey for developing a global digital platform that supports rural and regional communities.
“Through the innovation of Grown Not Flown, Nikki has delivered an exciting new model to connect consumers, boost local economies and encourage sustainable purchasing decisions,” he said.
“Her entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to transforming the cut flower industry is highly commendable and a true embodiment of the Award’s key objectives”, he said.
Michelle Leonard from NSW was named national runner up title for her work in creating and founding regional choir, Moorambilla Voices, and received an additional $15,000 from Westpac.
The other finalists were:
The founder of Bush Devine, Ali Paulett (Clare Valley, SA);
The founder of Huds and Toke, Emma Gibbons (Coolum, QLD);
The facilitator and founder of Leading Rein, Melissa Duniam (Sisters Creek, TAS);
Counsellor and founder of Grief Connect, Michelle Moriarty (Bunbury, WA);
Sustainability advocate and co-founder of NTEX, Eileen Breen (Girraween, NT).
Applications for the 2024 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award open today, September 13, and close on Wednesday, October 25 (and Friday, 26 January, 2024 for NT applicants). For more details see the AgriFutures website.