Avocado grower and Fresh Produce Alliance co-founder Jennifer Franceschi has been named the Telstra Western Australian Businesswoman of the Year, joining an alumni that includes Gina Rinehart.
Ms Franceschi has been involved in the avocado growing industry for four decades, after taking her first summer job working in her family’s commercial orchard.
In 2016, she founded a processing facility with her husband and two other growers, which uses technological innovations such as individual quick freeze, and has a focus on sustainability in agricultural ecosystems.
Speaking at the awards last night, Ms Franceschi said she would use the win as a platform to advocate for regional communities and agribusiness.
Telstra group chief marketing officer Joe Pollard said Ms Franceschi stood out as an authentic country businesswoman.
“She lives to create a sustainable future through intergenerational farming, sustainable working, long-term job opportunities and reduced agricultural wastage,” Ms Pollard said.
Recent winners of the Telstra WA Businesswoman of the Year award include Holyoake chief executive Angie Paskevicius, and Fortescue Metals Group director Sharon Warburton.
Four other businesswomen were recognised at the awards.
Anh Nguyen, the principal of Dr Anh Plastic Surgeon Medispa & Wellness Clinic, won an award for entrepreneurship, while Western Australian Police Service assistant commissioner Michelle Fyfe won the public service and academia award.
Fitness instructor Bolly Active founder Maitri Patel won the young businesswoman’s award.
Bolly Active is now the state’s largest Bollywood dance school and performance company.