Food & grocery industry honours two stalwarts

Press Release 2/09/2013

The food & grocery industry honoured two of its stalwarts at the weekend.

Don Graham (below left) and Maurice Gunnell, 36-year veterans of the industry, are pictured with Prime Minister John Key and FGC Chairman Pierre van Heerden after being presented with Lifetime Achiever Awards at the 2013 Grocery Charity Ball in Auckland.

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It was the 10th ball staged by the Grocery Charity Ball Trust, which chooses a new charity each year to be the beneficiary of the huge fundraising and auction night. This year, Monty Betham’s Steps for Life Foundation, which is dedicated to reducing the rate of obesity in children, was chosen.

NZ Food & Grocery Council Chief Executive Katherine Rich says Maurice Gunnell and Don Graham were extremely worthy recipients of the award. “Both have served the industry with distinction in areas outside their everyday jobs, putting in a lot of extra, unpaid hours, particularly on various FGC committees and working groups.”

Maurice Gunnell served the industry, way beyond his assignment as Manager Corporate Services at Nestlé New Zealand, on several forums, committees, and boards. He is a pro-active and constructive advocate of self-regulation, having at heart the benefit to consumers. During the recent issues with the supply of infant formula, he worked with the team at Nestlé to maintain continuity of supply.

krcDon Graham has worked for Tegel, New American Ice Cream, Primary SalesLink, and is a director at William Aitken & Co.

He has worked for different social causes over the years and has been a trustee and chairman of the Grocery Charity Ball since its inception.

“These awards have been well earned, and the industry congratulates and thanks Maurice and Don for their exceptional contribution,” Mrs Rich said.

 Pictured above left: Pierre van Heerden, FGC Vice-Chair Veronique Cremades, and FGC CEO Katherine Rich with John Key.

About the Grocery Charity Ball

The Grocery Charity Ball Trust was established in 2004 to run the premier event on the grocery industry social calendar, and direct the profits to charitable trusts. The annual event is held with the support of Foodstuffs and Progressive, as well as the New Zealand Food & Grocery Council. Every year, the Trust attracts nearly 700 people from the industry to a gala occasion, the proceeds of which benefit an up-and-coming New Zealand charity. Every year organisations are invited to apply to be the next recipient. This year 80 organisations applied. Since its inception, the Grocery Charity Ball has raised more than $2 million. The result of this year’s ball will be known in coming weeks.