At every company there’s an employee who works incredibly hard, motivates their colleagues or comes up with genius plans to develop the business. Whether in the packhouse, the field or the office, beyond the walls of their workplace, they often don’t get the recognition they deserve – until now. This category gives the opportunity for those unsung heroes to take a well-deserved turn in the spotlight.

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1. John Stolarczyk (World Carrot Museum)

The first virtual museum in the world entirely devoted to the history, evolution, science, sociology and art of carrots. The mission is to educate, inform and amuse visitors through the discovery, collection, preservation, interpretation and exhibition of objects relating to the carrot. This site provides lots of interesting and useful information about the humble carrot.

Within its encyclopaedic content lies all the information that any person might seek about the carrot – history, ancient manuscripts, botanical, social and art. There is also in-depth descriptions and advice on the health benefits and cultivation methods, to name but a few!

One specific interest is the enlightenment and promotion of the various colours of carrots. The artefacts included in the Museum collection are often displayed at public events and whilst giving talks and presentations to school etc. to encourage the younger generations to learn about growing their own vegetables and eating healthily.

The Museum is permanently recorded in the archives of Library of Congress and the Wellcome Foundation as a valuable resource for scholars, giving comprehensive information on every aspect of the carrot.

The thorough academic research of ancient manuscripts and contributions to journal publications have made a significant contribution to the world's knowledge of the origins and history of the carrot. The curator has also established connections with all the major players in the carrot industry around the world.

John regularly visits various carrot collectors across the globe and has established a world carrot community.

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2. Kriss Porada (Fresh Food Co EU)

With 10 years of experience in the fresh produce supply chain, Kriss Porada joined Fresh Food Co EU in August 2018 to head business development for the new company. Within three months of taking his new position, using his high-energy, 'cut-to-the-chase' style to keep his clients engaged, and his unique ability to quickly gain credibility using his wealth of product knowledge and experience in cold chain management, Kriss developed working relationships with suppliers across the world and servicing a fast growing customer base in the United Kingdom and Europe.

Through persistent cold-calling and personal visits, Kriss onboards each of his clients and personally manages each of their accounts ensuring that they receive the best value for the product required.

As versatile and innovative collaborator; Kriss proactively supports the dynamic produce business environment through his ability to explore new avenues and solutions or adapt existing sources to manage complex business demands. By working with growers directly he is able to ensure the clients requirements and specifications are communicated clearly and concisely prior to any supply agreement.

Described by his teammates and clients as passionate and enthusiastic individual, Kriss works around the clock putting his clients’ needs first. Kriss has a proven ability to promote team building within the organisation and fostering networks that contribute to positive value creation for the business.

Kriss is extremely passionate about his work, he personally contributed to renovate his home office and branded his walls to ensure he is constantly reminded of doing what he loves!