Home » Rural Tech Entrepreneur Nikki Davey Wins 2023 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award
News South America US

Rural Tech Entrepreneur Nikki Davey Wins 2023 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award

Nikki Davey is convinced that the future is small but in the best way possible. The Victorian rural tech entrepreneur has been named the 2023 AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award National winner at a gala ceremony in Canberra last night. The co-founder of Grown Not Flown, Ms Davey, has been recognised for her work in creating a digital platform and app to connect micro and small-scale farmers with consumers.

“It’s so amazing that I get to represent our flower community as part of this award and really put a spotlight on micro, small-scale growers and producers as part of this,” she said. Grown Not Flown is committed to reducing ‘flower miles’ and wants consumers to celebrate the provenance of flowers in the same way they do food.

Fast flowers doused in chemicals

Ms Davey said that many imported flowers are treated with chemicals in order to meet Australia’s strict biosecurity measures. “We don’t tend to celebrate the provenance of flowers the same way we do with produce, and so it’s not uncommon to buy flowers, have them sitting on our kitchen table and have no idea that they’ve been doused in these really harsh chemicals,” she said.

“The majority of flowers that come into Australia tend to come from South America, from Africa, but because Australia has such strict biosecurity rules, it means that flowers, when they come into Australia, they go through this really rigorous process with harsh chemicals that are used as part of that,” Ms Davey said.

Fast flowers, she said, presented many of the same problems posed by fast fashion and fast food. “While fast flowers offer the convenience of availability, their journey to your vases often comes at a cost to our climate with their high carbon footprint, reduced biodiversity and environmental degradation to our ecosystems, water sources and wildlife,” she said.

Freshly cut flowers 

Buying locally also means buying fresh. “A lot of the time, when you buy from those small-scale producers they have cut those flowers that same day and they’re in your vase in the afternoon,” she said. Ms Davey describes herself as an accidental farmer who was motivated by her own experience as a new flower grower to tackle common problems. “I’m not a natural farmer. I don’t know how to fix a fence, I don’t like going 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,” she said.

Founded as a passion project during COVID-19, Grown Not Flown now boasts more than 1,100 flower farms across 30 different countries and will expand further thanks to a $20,000 grant. The AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award National Runner Up is NSW artistic director Michelle Leonard, who has inspired more than 42,000 young people in remote and regional locations to explore music through her work.

Source: NEWS