Glenmore-based flower farmer and tech entrepreneur Nikki Davey has officially been named the 2023 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award Winner for her work in creating a digital platform and app connecting flower farmers and consumers globally.
NSW resident and artistic director Michelle Leonard was named National Runner Up for her work in creating and founding regional choir, Moorambilla Voices.
The co-founder of Grown Not Flown was recognised for her work in creating a digital platform that supports the slow flower movement by connecting flower consumers with local and sustainable producers.
“I’m not a natural farmer, I don’t know how to fix a fence, I don’t go outside when it's windy… but what I am good at is problem solving, working with technology and data and believing we can change the world with our ideas,” says Nikki.
“I truly believe at Grown Not Flown we have an opportunity to revolutionize how we think about and shop seasonal, locally grown flowers and produce now and into the future.
"We want to encourage consumers to celebrate the providence of flowers the same way we do food and support micro and small scale growers not to just survive but thrive.”
In addition to the $15,000 Westpac grant already awarded to the seven state and territory winners, Nikki will receive a further $20,000 to progress the development of her winning project.
“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,” says Nikki.
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.
What started out as a passion project during COVID, has now morphed into an online platform and app connecting flower farmers and consumers, globally. Grown Not Flown now boasts more than 5,300 users in 34 countries and over 1200 flower farms listed.
“With the additional $20,000 Westpac grant, 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,” she says.
Pictured above: 2023 AgriFutures Rural Women's Award National Winner Nikki Davey with last year's national winner Stephanie Trethewey.
This is the second year Nikki has been a part of the awards process, having been named a Victorian finalist in 2022 alongside Kimberley Furness from OAK Magazine and Deborah Bogenhuber with Food Next Door Co-op.
"I’m so pleased that I came back and gave it another crack. I was really apprehensive about applying and going through the process again, but I’m so glad that I did," says Nikki.
"I felt so much more confident within myself and really proud of how far Grown Not Flown had come in the last 12 months that irrespective of the outcome, it was amazing to look back as part of the process and reflect and celebrate everything that we’d achieved."
The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award is Australia’s leading Award in acknowledging and supporting the critical role women play in rural and regional businesses, industries and communities. With the ongoing support of Platinum Sponsors, Westpac Agribusiness, the program provides opportunities to showcase and inspire the next generation of female leaders across Australia.
If you would like to hear more about Nikki's story, listen to these in-depth conversations on A Friend of Mine podcast..